Lapthorne And Cotterill Into Wheelchair Tennis Medal Match
Just one win now separates Andy Lapthorne and Antony Cotterill from a shot at Paralympic gold after they made the perfect start in the wheelchair tennis quad doubles in Tokyo.
Lapthorne, a three-time Paralympic medallist, joined forces with Cotterill at the Ariake Tennis Park and the pair cruised through their opening match, beating Korean pair Kim Kyu-Seung and Kim Myung Je 6-2, 6-0.
That came after a long delay because of the warm conditions but five years after making his Paralympic debut in the quad singles, Cotterill was thrilled to get off to a winning start alongside Lapthorne.
“This is my first Paralympics in the doubles, so it’s great to get a good win under our belts. So bring on the next one.”
“We’ve been playing together for five years now so it was just about putting that out onto the court. It’s very hot here and the ball is bouncing very high so it’s just about trying to adapt to that as quickly as possible.”
Lapthorne and Cotterill will now take on number two seeds Sam Schroder and Niels Vink of the Netherlands in the semi-final.
While there was delight for the quad duo, there was disappointment for Dermot Bailey in the men’s singles as he went out 6-2, 6-0 to Daniel Caverzaschi of Spain.
It was a really good win. It’s good to be in a medal match at another Paralympics in doubles and it’s good to get my first win at a Games with Antony. I’m just looking forward to the big matches to come." - Andy Lapthorne
And Bailey admitted that the nerves of playing in his first Games probably got the better of him.
“It’s tough, it’s disappointing really. I don’t think I executed my game plan really and went passive a little bit. It’s probably the pressure of the Games. It’s frustrating.
“It was probably me not letting myself getting into the match.
“I need to take away a few things that need to work on, on the tennis court and take the experience away from it and hopefully I can compete in Paris and use the experience of not just this match but the last few days and the last week or so.”