Eastcote's Andy Lapthorne has won his third Australian Open quad doubles title, writes Marshall Thomas.
Lapthorne teamed up with American David Wagner to record a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Australian Dylan Alcott and South Africa’s Lucas Sithole in Melbourne today (Thursday).
The pair 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 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," 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.
"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.”
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 number three 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 tomorrow (Friday).
But there will also be a Grand Slam final for Ickenham's Jordanne Whiley tomorrow when she takes part in the women’s doubles showpiece.
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, Whiley saw her bid to reach a first Grand Slam singles final come to an end in her semi-final when the British number one and world number seven lost out 6-1, 6-1 to top seed and world number two Ellerbrock.