Lapthorne leads day two success in Rio
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Andy Lapthorne guaranteed himself the opportunity to play for a medal on the second day of the Paralympic Tennis Event in Rio after a comfortable victory in his quad singles quarter-final.
Jordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker also advanced on the opening day of women’s singles competition, while Marc McCarroll and David Phillipson clinched a fine victory in the first round of the men’s doubles.
World No. 3 Lapthorne faces world No. 2 David Wagner of the USA on Sunday for a place in the quad singles gold medal match after defeating Australian Heath Davidson 6-1, 6-2.
“I’m so happy to have got through that match and really sticking to my game plan. It was getting hot out there and I didn’t want to get into an epic when I started off so well. My friends were cheering so loudly and I’m using that support to help me really focus. I need to use everything at my disposal so I can peak out here in Rio and we’ve had a fantastic camp and have a brilliant team out here with the Tennis Foundation, ParalympicsGB and UK Sport supporting us.”
Lapthorne will also partner Jamie Burdekin in the quad doubles semi-finals as they play Dylan Alcott and Davison for a place in the gold medal match.
Whiley is also in action on Sunday when she plays home favourite Natalia Mayara for a place in the women’s singles quarter-finals after racing past Ju-Youn Park of Korea 6-1, 6-2 in her opening match in Rio.
“That’s actually my first ever singles win at a Paralympics and I’ve never played on a Centre Court for singles so it was a huge day for me really. Park can play some tricky shots and I had to keep my concentration the whole match.
“I had no idea what to expect and I’m also used to having a home crowd on big occasions but the Brazilians all seemed to get behind me and I loved the experience.
Lucy Shuker joined Whiley in the second round after an equally comfortable 6-2, 6-0 win over Francisca Mardones of Chile. Shuker plays Dutch world No.1 Jiske Griffioen for a place in the last eight. However, Louise Hunt was unable to join Whiley and Shuker in the second round after bowing out to the USA’s Dana Mathewson 6-1, 6-4.
Marc McCarroll and David Phillipson made it four wins from five matches for the Brits on day two after a fine effort to edge out China’s Shunjiang Dong and Zujun Wei 6-4, 7-6(3). McCarroll and Philllipson now meet French top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer on the third day of competition, when Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett begin their men’s singles and doubles challenges after first round byes.
Reid play Sweden’s Dan Wallin in his opening singles match, with Hewett taking on Sri Lankan Upali Rajakaruna. Eight matches for Tennis Foundation Wheelchair Tennis World Class Programme players selected by ParalympicsGB also see Shuker and Whiley begin their bid to improve on their women’s doubles bronze medal in London.