Britain's Andy Lapthorne building something special after Open final appearance
By Gemma-Louise Stevenson
Last Updated: 29/07/19 1:19pm
Andy Lapthorne finished as runner-up in the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships to 16-year-old Niels Vink.
The match saw the British No 1 go a set down then masterfully level it at 1-1 before Vink went on to claim the third set, and the 2019 title, 7-5 3-6 6-2.
Lapthorne earlier had spectators on the edge of their seats during his semi-final as he came from a set and 4-0 down to triumph over the Netherlands' Sam Schroder 2-6 7-5 6-2.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "I believe it's my time. Me and my team we're building something special here and if I can go out and compete for every ball when I play I'll give myself a chance."
But just how is Lapthorne turning matches on their head and engineering these comebacks, arguably some of the best of his career so far? Sky Sports takes a look at what the British No 1 is doing right...
'Wildcard to Wimbledon champion'
Andy Lapthorne spoke to Sky Sports about his journey from a Wimbledon wildcard to a championship triumph.
Lapthorne had met the rising star of the quads division Schroder twice since his return from injury before this semi-final - and both meetings had ended with his Dutch opponent claiming victory.
However, the British Open semi-final saw a different outcome as Lapthorne banished the demons of their previous encounters.
"I knew if I could stop him getting to five I could get myself back in it," he said. "He's a player that has the ability to take the racket out of your hand and you know you have to get the first strike but it's a hard thing to do against Sam, it takes heart and bravery to take the ball on the way I did at the end.
"Of course I'm the more experienced player but if he'd won that would have given him three wins in a row over me and that would be really hard to come back from so that was a big win for me and he'll remember that one."
The British No 1 believes that the real turnaround for him in the semi-final came when he began playing attacking tennis like he does day in, day out on the training court.
"As soon as I take the ball on the first bounce and take control of the tennis court not many people can live with me," he said. "It's something that all my team see every day in training so a lot of them get frustrated when they watch me play and they don't see me do it in matches. But I did that when I needed to and I'm very happy about it."
Sending a Message
For Lapthorne, however, his semi-final performance was about more than just getting an all important win over Schroder and making it to another British Open final.
"The semi-final match was about proving to him and all the other players that are watching that I'm not an easy touch and I'm the number one seed here for a reason, I wasn't going to give up," he told Sky Sports.
"Now all those guys that were watching us play, they know the next time we play each other that 'Lappo's never going to quit'.
"You almost get that thing that Alfie's (Hewett) got on a lot of people in the men's division, where they can be a set and 5-0 up, and they know they can't even let him have a game, because if they do, all of a sudden the demons are there for them and he finds a way back in - that's kind of what I'm trying to create."
Lapthorne wasn't the only British player to feature on finals weekend.
Saturday saw Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett finish with runners-up honours in the men's doubles and Jordanne Whiley partnering Japan's Yui Kamiji also compete in the women's doubles final and finish as runners-up.