Britain's Andy Lapthorne set to compete in first-ever Wimbledon quad singles final
"This is what I've dreamed about for so many years," says 28-year-old after setting up Wimbledon quad singles final vs Dylan Alcott
By Gemma-Louise Stevenson
Last Updated: 12/07/19 8:31am
Britain's Andy Lapthorne booked his spot in the first-ever quad wheelchair singles final at Wimbledon with a powerhouse performance which saw him claim victory over world No 2 David Wagner in straight sets.
Speaking to Sky Sports after his 7-5 6-4 semi-final victory, Lapthorne said: "It's amazing and an honour to play at Wimbledon, and then to play and execute the match against David the way I did under probably the biggest pressure I've ever been under was incredible.
"David is a good player and when you go up against him, it's kill or be killed - but I just felt comfortable out there and I felt like I'd been playing here for 10 years already.
"I know this place like the back of my hand because I've been coming year after year to watch since I was a kid so as soon as I was out on that court, I felt at home straight away and definitely wasn't as nervous and as tight as I was expecting to feel."
The result means that Lapthorne will next take on the world No 1, the man who has won every Slam singles title in the division so far this year - Australia's Dylan Alcott, who came through his semi-final against Koji Sugeno 6-3, 6-4.
"It's going to be a massive moment. This is what I've dreamed about for so many years," added two-time Paralympic silver medallist Lapthorne.
"If you talk about doing these things, you've got to be able to go out there, walk the walk and back it up so I'm just glad that I've proved the All England Club right for believing in me and giving me that wildcard."
I have really clever people around me, which I've not always had.
Andy Lapthorne on his coaching team
When the 28-year-old came back to the tour in May after injuring his wrist at the Australian Open, he also had a new team behind him and he credits them for his impressive recent record which has seen him lose only two singles matches since his return.
In his first competitive match on grass against Wagner, it was clear to see the areas he has strengthened - his forehand is proving to be a particularly lethal weapon, and he is playing perfectly constructed points such as those which saw him bring the world No 2 into the net before then sealing the deal with a deadly accurate lob on multiple occasions.
"I have really clever people around me, which I've not always had," he said. "The coach I have now, I believe he's going to make me the best player in the world.
"When you work with world-class people and you listen to what they say and keep doing the things they ask you to do, then things will go right for you just like they did for me against David."
Before the draw, Lapthorne told claimed: "You know if I get into that final then whenever I decide to hang my racket up, I could hang my racket up a happy man, that would be the moment for me."
Nevertheless, his semi-final victory has awoken something in the British No 1 and now he is determined that come Saturday, he wants it to be his name that is the first one on that Wimbledon quad singles trophy.
"See now, I'm competitive, now I want to win it, like I really want to win it," he said. "That's the aim; we go there on Saturday for the win and let's see what happens.
"It's two in a row now against David and I'm chasing that world No 2 spot and then I'm coming for world No 1 - that's the goal now.
"Everyone needs to be very aware that I'm back and that I'm ready and raring to go."