Lapthorne clinches third Australian Open doubles title

24th January 2014

Andy Lapthorne won his third Australian Open quad doubles title today after partnering American David Wagner to a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Australian Dylan Alcott and South Africa’s Lucas Sithole in Melbourne.
There will be two more Grand Slam finals for British players on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme on Friday after Gordon Reid and Jordanne Whiley also reached the men’s doubles and women’s doubles finals respectively.
Lapthorne and Wagner secured an immediate break at the start of the quad doubles final for a 2-0 lead, but trailed Alcott and Sithole 3-2 before taking the first set. After securing another break at the start of the second set, Lapthorne and Wagner again had to battle hard as their opponents again drew back on level terms, but after having match points at 5-3 and 5-4 they eventually wrapped up victory in their first ever tournament together.
“I’m really happy to get my third Australian Open title and want to thank David after we have been on opposite sides of the net so often in other Grand Slam finals. Australia is where I made my Grand Slam debut in 2011 and it’s great to get another title. This one is dedicated to my late auntie,” said Lapthorne, who won his first two Australian Open doubles titles in 2011 and 2012 partnering fellow Brit Peter Norfolk, with whom Lapthorne went on to win the quad doubles silver medal at London 2012.
In the men’s doubles Reid and Dutchman Maikel Scheffers stretched their unbeaten sequence for the season after a straight sets semi-final win over Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Michael Jeremiasz of France.
After beating Fernandez and Jeremiasz over the weekend in the final of the Melbourne Open to win their second title of 2014, top seeds Reid and Scheffers secured a 6-2, 7-5 victory this time and will go on to face top seeds Stephane Houdet of France and Japan’s Shingo Kunieda in Friday’s final.
Last year’s Wimbledon runners-up Whiley and Yui Kamiji reached their second Grand Slam doubles final together as the top seeds came from a break down at the start of both sets of their semi-final against Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane to clinch a narrow 6-4, 7-6(4) victory.
Earlier in the day Whiley saw her bid to reach a first Grand Slam singles final come to an end in her semi-final. The British No. 1 and world No. 7 lost out 6-1, 6-1 to top seed and world No. 2 Ellerbrock.
Meanwhile, Lapthorne’s bid to reach a second successive Australian Open quad singles final came to an end despite having saved six match points against Alcott. World No. 3 Lapthorne beat Alcott to reach last weekend’s Melbourne Open final, but wasn’t able to repeat that win in his second of three round-robin matches at the Australian Open and the Australian prevailed  6-4, 5-7, 8-6. Lapthorne will now play Wagner in his final round-robin singles match on Friday.