Lapthorne wins first Super Series title
Andy Lapthorne clinched the first ITF Super Series quad singles title of his career today in Johannesburg after beating home favourite Lucas Sithole 3-6, 6-0, 7-6(9) in a thrilling final at the Airports Company South Africa SA Open at Ellis Park Stadium.
Lapthorne, who moved up one place to a new career high of No. 2 in the world rankings earlier this week, gained an early break to lead 3-1 before Sithole claimed the next five games to win the opening set. However, Lapthorne snatched the momentum from the start of the second, winning the set without dropping a game to level the match.
The London 2012 quad doubles silver medallist then came from 4-1 down and 5-3 down to force a final set tie-break and earned himself three match points at 6-3 ahead. Sithole dug deep before Lapthorne finally wrapped up his victory to retain the title.
"I’m very pleased to have won my first singles Super Series title especially in the same week as reaching my career high ranking,” said Lapthorne. “In doing so I have defended my title from the ITF 1 event at the same venue last year so I look forward to coming back next year to try and defend it again and will use this trophy to push on and enjoy more success in 2013.”
A day after securing his first career win over Japan’s world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda, world No. 7 Gordon Reid made a promising start to the men’s singles final against world No. 2 Stephane Houdet of France, the Scot coming from 2-0 down to take the opening set 6-3.
After earning his first ever win over Houdet in February, the British No.1 continued his quest for a second by earning an immediate break at the start of the second set and found himself leading 4-2. But second seed Houdet claimed the last four games of the set to level the match and the Frenchman then went 3-1 ahead in the final set en route to clinching victory 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Reid then found himself in another three set encounter in the men’s doubles final but he and Frenchman Michael Jeremiasz lost out to French duo Frederic Cattaneo and Houdet as they claimed the trophy 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Reid and Lapthorne were two of 11 players selected this week by the Tennis Foundation to represent Great Britain at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Antalya, Turkey from 20 – 26 May.