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Middlesex success at the Australian Open

January 31, 2024

Andy Lapthorne and Esah Hayat secured Middlesex double success in doubles events in Melbourne at the Wheelchair Tennis and the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Championships. Lily Mills was runner up in the doubles in the intellectual impairment competition.

In the quad wheelchair tennis doubles, Andy Lapthorne and American doubles partner David Wagner won their ninth Grand Slam title together against Ronald Ramphadi (RSA) and Guy Sasson (ISR) 6-4, 3-6, 10-2. The pair lifted the Australian Open trophy exactly 10 years on from capturing their first Grand Slam title together. On the way to the final Andy and David beat the pairing's of Ali Ataman (TUR) & Ymanitu Silva (BRA) and Heath Davidson (AUS) and Robert Shaw (CAN).

A semi-finalist in the men’s doubles at the AO Deaf or Hard of Hearing Championships in 2023, Hayat went two better this time after partnering Hungary’s Gabor Matthe to win all three of their round-robin matches to lift the title.

After finishing sixth in the men’s singles in 2023 at the inaugural deaf tennis tournament to take place alongside a Grand Slam, Hayat was eighth in this year’s singles draw despite some strong performances against top seed Prithvi Sekhar of India and Slovenian third seed Marino Kegl.

However, it was in the men’s doubles where former World Deaf men’s doubles silver medallist Hayat, a member of the Great Britain Deaf National Squad, excelled. The multiple National champion and Hungary’s Mathe remained unbeaten in their three matches, beating Australian Glen Flindell and Sekhar 0-6, 7-5, 10-5 in the contest that decided the winners and runners-up.

Britain’s Anna McBride and Germany’s Sophia Schmidt were unbeaten in the women’s intellectual impairment round robin doubles competition. They had an arrow 5-7, 7-6(5), 10-7 victory over Lily Mills and Belgium’s Hanne Lavreysen proving to be the difference between winner and runner-up positions. Lily and Hanna won their other two matches against Australian opposition.

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