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19th January - 1st February 2015
Melbourne Park, Australia
Last updated: 30/01/2011
Britain's Peter Norfolk experienced his first loss in five Australian Open quad singles finals on Saturday at Melbourne Park as American David Wagner retained his world No.1 quad ranking after a 6-2, 6-3 win over the defending champion. Norfolk had beaten Wagner in all four of their previous finals in Melbourne, in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010, but the world No. 2 made a slow start in his latest title decider and had to wait until the fifth game of the match to earn his first game points, eventually getting himself on the scoreboard after two deuces.
Norfolk then saved three set points at 5-1 down and Wagner double-faulted on his fourth set point a game later, but finally converted with the match exactly 30 minutes old. The second set started much the same as the first, Norfolk again getting on the scoreboard after a titanic fifth game that included three deuces and he retrieved one of the breaks against him in the sixth game after a further two deuces.
Norfolk's sixth ace of the match reduced the deficit to 4-3 and he had two game points to level the set at 4-4 before Wagner regained a two game cushion. Two double faults did little to help the Briton's cause as he served to stay in the match, allowing Wagner to seal his second Grand Slam title and his first Australian Open crown. Despite Norfolk's loss on Saturday he has won his first Grand Slam quad doubles title this week during what has been an exciting tournament for Britain's wheelchair tennis players.
"Peter is a veteran of the Australian Open and although he could not retain his title this time, I'm sure he will be back to winning ways before long," said Claire Lavers, the Tennis Foundation's Director of Disability Tennis.
"This year we have had a record three British wheelchair tennis players perform at this Grand Slam. Jordanne Whiley delivered very credible performances in her Grand Slam debut with another debutant at this level, Andrew Lapthorne, having the best day of his tennis career on Thursday to win both the quad doubles with Peter and beat world No. 4 Nick Taylor for the first time in singles competition. We end the tournament with the first all-British pairing to win a Grand Slam wheelchair tennis doubles title and the future of British wheelchair tennis is looking good."
Article by Marshall Thomas
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