Paralympics: Medal joy for Lapthorne but pain for Whiley


Andy Lapthorne described the thrilling victory that guaranteed him a Paralympic medal as “the best night of my life”.

The Eastcote wheelchair tennis star beat world number two David Wagner 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 on Monday night, to reach the quad singles final in Rio.

Although only ranked a couple of places below the American, Lapthorne came into the match having beaten Wagner just nine times in their 40 previous singles meetings.

“That was the best night of my life bar none,” the 25-year-old said.

“To lie there on Centre Court and take it all in that I’ve guaranteed myself a medal is incredible. It’s the best performance of my career.”

Lapthorne, who can also win bronze in the quad doubles on Tuesday, now faces world number one Dylan Alcott for singles gold on Wednesday.

Whiley Wimbledon winner 2016
Whiley faces Grand Slam partner Yui Kamiji in the bronze-medal doubles match

However, Jordanne Whiley, hampered by a wrist injury, lost in both the women’s singles and doubles on Monday.

Her hopes of a singles medal were ended after a straight-sets quarter-final defeat to world number seven Diede De Groot.

She and Lucy Shuker were then beaten in the doubles semi-final by Dutch top seeds Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot, meaning they will play in Tuesday’s bronze-medal match.

After her singles defeat, Whiley said: “I couldn’t hit my shots properly but I wanted to carry on because I’ve worked four years for this moment and I really wanted this one.

“It makes me even more determined to try and win a medal [in the doubles].”

Meanwhile, in the wheelchair basketball, Ealing’s Gaz Choudhry scored 17 points as Great Britain lost to the USA 65-48 in their final group-stage match.

They finished second to set up a quarter-final against Australia on Wednesday.