Alfie Hewett and Andy Lapthorne face familiar opponents in US Open final
By Gemma-Louise Stevenson
Last Updated: 08/09/19 4:18pm
Britain's Alfie Hewett and Andy Lapthorne sailed into the US Open men's open and quad singles finals respectively after a week of showcasing some of their best tennis.
The pair also remain on track to potentially complete a US Open double with both featuring in the doubles finals in their divisions as well.
Hewett, who played both his quarter-final and semi-final in the same day due to rain delays, has made it to this point without dropping a set.
He began the day with a 6-3 7-6 (7-2) victory over Japan's Shingo Kunieda and following it up with equally as strong semi-final performance against France's Nicolas Peifer taking just 75 minutes to come out on top 6-3 6-4.
"I love it here," Hewett told Sky Sports. "The courts suit my game style really well, I just feel relaxed and I feel that I can play my best tennis. It's very nice to get rewarded after all of the hard work that has gone in all year."
The seven-time Grand Slam champion will now play in his third successive US Open final and it will be a re-match of his first one way back in 2017 against France's Stephane Houdet.
On that occasion he finished with runners-up honours, but as defending champion here this year he's hoping for a different result this time around.
"All I can say is congratulations to Stephane on his semi-final result against Gustavo (Fernandez), who is probably player of the year in terms of form," the British No 1 added. "So I don't doubt that Stephane is playing some really great tennis right now and I know I'm in for another battle against him.
"Obviously I'd like some revenge for the 2017 final here and I have had good results against him the last few times we've played so the opportunity is there but once again it's taking it point by point and just keeping the mindset I've had in the other matches."
But Hewett is not the only Brit looking to turn the tables on a previous result against their opponent in the 2019 finals.
Andy Lapthorne scored his second victory in the round-robin stages and booked his spot in the quad singles final with a comprehensive win over Bryan Barten 6-1 6-3.
He will meet a player on course to complete the first calendar Grand Slam in the quads division if he is victorious, Australia's Dylan Alcott.
In Friday's round-robin encounter between the pair, Lapthorne showcased some of the highest standard of tennis we've seen from him since returning from injury.
At one point, he got himself two match points while taking on Alcott, almost ending the World No 1's unbeaten singles run, which stretches back to August 2018.
However, the British No 1 was not able to take the opportunity to close out the match when it presented itself.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the World No 3 said: "I've learnt that I can beat him. Friday was a tough one to take. I played really well for large parts and I had the match on my strings.
"But I've given myself another chance to go up against Dylan here and if I get the chance to be in that position again I need to put those balls away and hopefully I can get myself another match point and I can finish it off this time."
Following his battle for the singles titles he will feature in the doubles final alongside the world No 1.
"It's a big day and I've got two big matches tomorrow," Lapthorne said.
"But this is why we play, this is why we train to be in these positions and it's always good to be playing against and with the best player in the world at one of the biggest tournaments in the world."
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