Peter Norfolk edged out fellow Brit Andy Lapthorne 6-4, 7-6(6) at Melbourne Park on Wednesday in the first of their three round-robin quad singles matches at the Australian Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships.
World No. 2 Norfolk hit the first of two aces in the opening game of the match before twice going a break up to lead 2-0 and 4-2. Lapthorne fought back to level the contest on both occasions, but Norfolk broke
again en route to taking the opening set on his first set point.
The second set began in the same way as the first, with a lengthy deuce game that Norfolk again snatched. Although the four-time Australian Open champion went on to make it 5-3, world No. 4 Lapthorne’s determination again brought him back level at 5-5 and he proceeded to force the set to a tie-break that was every bit a close as the rest of the match.
Lapthorne looked like he might take it to a deciding set as he earned his one and only set point at 6-5 in the tie-break, but a sequence of three successive points brought Norfolk the victory after an hour and
“I’m really pleased to come through a tight match, it’s always tough playing another Brit,” said Norfolk. “It was actually quite a nervy match as I am still on my journey back from injury.”
“I’m disappointed in not taking my chances,” said Lapthorne, who converted five of his 12 break point opportunities. “But I’m pleased that my performance was better than it was last week at the Sydney Open.”
In the other quad round-robin match of the day world No.1 David Wagner was beaten 7-5, 6-3 by world No.3 Noam Gershony.
Norfolk will now face Israel’s Gershony in his second match on Thursday, while Lapthorne plays American Wagner as he bids to earn his first win of the tournament.
Later on the second day of competition Lapthorne and Norfolk will pair up to try and defend their quad doubles title as they take on Gershony and Wagner.