Tokyo 2020 Paralympics: Cotterill and Lapthorne to play for Paralympic medal
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On a day that started with a six-and-a-half-hour heat delay before play on the outside courts could get underway at the Ariake Tennis Park, Cotterill and Lapthorne found their rhythm after a tough opening game to win five games in a row.
Antony Cotterill and Andy Lapthorne earned the opportunity to play for a medal on the opening day of wheelchair tennis at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after a brilliant performance saw the ParalympicsGB duo defeat Koreans Kyu-Seung Kim and Myung Je Kim 6-2, 6-0.
On a day that started with a six-and-a-half-hour heat delay before play on the outside courts could get underway at the Ariake Tennis Park, Cotterill and Lapthorne found their rhythm after a tough opening game to win five games in a row. Both players proved clinical at the net with a series of drop shots that left their opponents in trouble on multiple occasions.
Pairing up for the first time in Paralympic competition, last month’s British Open finalists recovered from three break points down in the second game of the second set as they reasserted their dominance to complete victory in an hour and six minutes.
Already a three-time Paralympic medallist, Lapthorne said: “It was a really good win and it’s good to be in a medal match again at a Paralympics and great to get my first win at a Games with Antony. We look forward to the big matches to come now.
“We’ve been playing together for five years now and tried to put that experience out on the court. It’s very hot here, the ball is bouncing very high, so it was all about adapting to that as quickly as possible.”
Earlier in the day Dermot Bailey endured a tough Paralympic debut as he bowed out of the men’s singles 6-2, 6-0 against Spain’s Daniel Caverzaschi.
He said: “It’s tough; it’s disappointing really. I don’t think I executed my game plan that well and then went too passive for a bit. Maybe it’s the pressure of the Games. I don’t think I did a massive amount wrong, I just didn’t do enough things right when I probably should have done, to be honest.”
Men's singles - second round
Gordon Reid vs Gustavo Carneiro Silva or Leon Els
Alfie Hewett vs Kamil Fabisiak or Suthi Khlongrua
Women's singles - first round
Jordanne Whiley v Angelica Bernal
Lucy Shuker v Busra Un
Quad singles - first round
Andy Lapthorne vs Rob Shaw
Antony Cotterill vs Heath Davidson