Norfolk sends out ominous warning

3rd September 2012

Paralympic champion Peter Norfolk began the defence of his Quad Singles wheelchair tennis title in emphatic fashion as he thrashed Japan’s Mitsuteru Moroishi in under an hour on the centre court at Eton Manor.

Norfolk, nicknamed the ‘Quadfather’ due to his dominance of the quad division over the last decade, took the match 6-0, 6-0.

The no.3 seed, who is vying for an unprecedented hat-trick of Quad Singles Paralympic golds, never looked in any danger against the unseeded Japanese player although admitted to suffering from a bout of the nerves before the match got underway.

“I was a bit nervous if I'm honest but I'd played him in Japan so I knew what to expect and I felt like I coped well,” said the 51-year-old.

“The crowd was a bit different to Athens and Beijing and it was amazing to have my family all here.

“I haven't been in great form but hopefully my competitors can see I'm back to my best and peaking at the right time.”

Norfolk, who faces the unseeded Shraga Weinberg from Israel in the next round, is the only Brit to advance for ParalympicsGB after Andy Lapthorne and Jamie Burdekin both failed to progress.

Lapthorne had hopes of going deep into the competition but came up short against Sweden’s Anders Hard. Hard had got the better of Lapthorne, 21, in their previous meeting at Eton Manor during the test event earlier this year and the Middlesex player suffered the same misfortune, losing 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

A disconsolate Lapthorne said after the match: “I'm absolutely gutted as I've worked hard for four years for that and I've got a winning record against Hard, so I thought I could get the better of him.”

“He beat me at the test event but I knew what I had to do, I just lost concentration at 7-5, 3-1 up.

“The crowd were amazing and I'll never experience anything like this again.”

Burdekin couldn’t get the better of no. 2 seed Noam Gershony from Israel, going down 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Meanwhile, fellow Brits Dave Phillipson and Gordon Reid are both one win away from a place in the quarter-finals of the singles after impressive straight sets victories in the second round.

Phillipson claimed the scalp of no. 15 seed Martin Legner with a 6-3 6-2 win to avenge his defeat to the Austrian in the same round in Beijing four years ago while no. 9 seed Reid demolished  Brazil’s Daniel Alves Rodrigues 6-0, 6-0.

Phillipson’s next opponent will be Shingo Kunieda, Japan’s no.2 seed. Reid faces an equally tough examination against Sweden’s no. 6 seed Stefan Olsson.

Hours later, Reid and Phillipson were back in winning action in the opening round of the men’s doubles tournament.

Reid and his partner Marc McCarroll, the tournament’s no.7 seeds, took to centre court and made a successful start to their Paralympic campaign, beating Philippe Bedard and Joel Dembe of Canada 6-3 6-1.

They are now scheduled to play Belgium’s Mike Denayer and Joachim Gerard in the next round.

Phillipson, with his partner Alex Jewitt, completed a fine start for the British men in the doubles competition with a 6-3 6-2 win over the Argentina’s Yann Avanthey and Daniel Pellegrina.