Andy Lapthorne: Game, mindset and match
"I'm training better than I've ever trained and I'm enjoying it more than I've ever enjoyed it."
By Gemma-Louise Stevenson
Last Updated: 25/09/19 1:55pm
He's won three Grand Slam titles, beaten the top player in the quads division and is sitting comfortably in the rankings at No 2 in the world. Britain's Andy Lapthorne has achieved all of this within four months of returning to the UNIQLO wheelchair tennis tour after a wrist injury.
In this month alone he's lifted both singles and doubles titles at the US Open and he followed that up a week later with another singles title at the Super Series in St Louis, therefore recent results illustrate that the British No 1 is in prime position to challenge for top spot in the world rankings.
"Everyone's the guy until the guy walks in the room and that's what you've got to remember and we're now going for No 1 100 per cent," Lapthorne told Sky Sports.
"The other guys in the division have all been trying to catch me before the start of next season but they didn't catch me in time.
"I fully believe now that I can go on and dominate and that's my plan now to keep on winning."
Lapthorne determined to dominate...
"Now I'm in a position where these guys are under a lot of pressure to defend points and at the start of next year I'm not defending many because I was out with my wrist.
"So the number one spot is there for the taking but the key to that happening for me is to carry on playing and performing like I have been."
One of the most notable changes in Lapthorne recently which has seen him cross the line in finals so regularly is a clear change in mindset.
Those frustrations that haunted him in previous finals appear to have been banished to the sidelines and the current US Open champion puts this down to becoming braver on court with his shots and re-discovering the enjoyment he has for the sport.
"The key thing is to enjoy it out there and I'm really enjoying it," he admitted. "I've been telling my team for a while now that I feel great out there, I'm training better than I've ever trained and I'm enjoying it more than I've ever enjoyed it.
"I fully believe now that I can go on and dominate and that's my plan now to keep on winning.
"I've always said that if I could get another singles title at a Slam then I would feel confident moving forward and start winning these tournaments on a regular basis, after the US Open this year I now have that opportunity to show that I can."
He also credits the support from those that have believed in him "since day dot" in helping him move forward with his game.
"I've got so many people who have believed in me and been there for me plus my brother's been there so many times to pick me up and tell me to go again, everyday saying it'll come, it'll come," he added.
"They're the people who have helped me prove the people that have said stuff like 'his attitude will never change, he won't do this, he won't do that, he doesn't work hard, he doesn't eat right, he loses the plot on court, he's this, he's that' wrong - the wins that are coming now; this is for them."