Andy Lapthorne: From wildcard winner to Wimbledon champion and beyond
By Gemma-Louise Stevenson
Last Updated: 19/07/19 12:40pm
A week ago Britain's Andy Lapthorne went through the gates of the All England Club as a wildcard in the first quads division draw - and four days later he left a Wimbledon champion.
It's an experience the British No 1, who is a passionate advocate for equality for the quads division, has described as "amazing", "a dream come true" and something he has "loved every minute of" as he was crowned the first Wimbledon doubles champions in the division alongside Australia's Dylan Alcott.
Making it all way to the singles final, where he eventually finished as a runner-up to Alcott, also saw him extend his impressive win-loss record, having only lost three competitive matches since his return to the tour in May after injury.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "It's all been amazing but at the same time it has been very overwhelming and I really haven't stopped for a good month.
"I take away the support, I take away the love from everyone, the support at Wimbledon has been fantastic and the All England Club have been fantastic to us - props to them for what they have done to showcase our sport and the division."
The grass court season is over for another year and from next week the hard courts beckon once more as Nottingham welcomes the world's best wheelchair tennis players, including Lapthorne.
Heading into the next leg of the UNIQLO wheelchair tennis tour he has a clear idea of which areas of his game he needs to work on, particularly when it comes to crossing the line in singles finals.
I don't play the game to be number two, I don't do anything to come second and I know what needs to be done for me to be anywhere near where I need and want to be.
"I can play tennis, I know I can play tennis and on the training court I can do scary things," he said. "But I'm now in a position where my record in singles finals is what it is and it is probably in my head.
"I love this sport at times, I don't love it as much at other times, but I don't play the game to be number two, I don't do anything to come second and I know what needs to be done for me to be anywhere near where I need and want to be.
"So hopefully there's someone out there that is a sports psychologist that thinks that they can help me and they'll get in touch because that's what I need at this point, I need to find that self-belief in singles finals."
Lapthorne has plenty to be positive and feel confident about as he enters a run of tournaments where he has traditionally performed at his highest level, where results have really gone his way and he's achieved great things.
That run starts with the British Open in Nottingham next week, where he has been a finalist for four out of the last five years, and culminates in a return to New York for the US Open where he got his his hands on a Grand Slam singles title in 2014.
"There's lots of things in America that make me play well and I'm going to enjoy it," he said. "I like being there, I like the sports - I'm planning to watch the St Louis Cardinals who are my baseball team - and I love the vibe of New York.
"Wimbledon is amazing because it's the first place I came to watch tennis as a kid and it's always been my dream to play here that's why I fought so hard for so long to get our division playing there but there's a reason why the only singles Grand Slam I have is in New York and that's maybe because the vibe is more me."