ANDREW Lapthorne and John Parfitt provided the highlight of the Salzburg Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships for British players taking the quad singles and quad doubles titles.
Top seed and defending champion Lapthorne reached the quad singles final without dropping a set, defeating Italy’s Marco Innocenti 6-4, 6-1 in the semi-finals, having edged Innocenti in three sets in the 2010 final.
World No. 4 Lapthorne then gained his second career win over American world No. 6 Nick Taylor as he completed a 6-4, 7-6(2) victory to successfully retain the title.
Taylor had beaten Parfitt in his semi-final, but Parfitt gained some recompense in the quad doubles final as he and Lapthorne against justified top seeding to beat the American duo of David Jordan and Taylor 7-5, 6-1.
En route to the final Lapthorne and Parfitt defeated Italian pairing Innocenti and Guiseppe Polidori 6-3, 7-6(5) in their opening match, to avenge their loss to Innocenti of Polidori in their opening match of the 2010 event.
Aside from Lapthorne and Parfitt’s success, Britain’s top three women’s players were also in action with British No. 1 and world No. 8 Lucy Shuker and British No. 2 Jordanne Whiley both reaching the women’s singles quarter-finals before bowing out to Dutch opposition. Fifth seed Shuker eventually slipped to a 5-7, 2-6 loss to top seed Marjolein Buis, while eighth seed Whiley provided stiff opposition for world No. 6 Sharon Walraven before Walraven narrowly prevailed 6-4, 7-6(2).
British No. 3 Louise Hunt bowed out of the women’s singles to eventual runner-up Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany, but fourth seeds Hunt and Whiley launched an impressive women’s doubles semi-final challenge against top seeds Buis and Walraven before the Dutch top seeds pulled through 7-5, 6-3.
Tennis Foundation National Programme Coach Geraint Richards said: “Andrew and John have wrapped up a solid week for the British players. Andy has performed well to retain his title against stiff competition and both did very well under pressure in their opening match to defeat the Italian pairing that put them out at the same stage of the quad doubles last year.
“All three British women have also lived up to their pre-tournament seedings in singles and doubles and Louise and Jordanne produced a fine effort against the Dutch top seeds in their women’s doubles semi-finals. There are plenty of positives to take away for the remainder of the summer.”
Hunt and Parfitt remain in Austria this week – joined by several other British players who are contesting the ITF 2 Series Austrian Open in Gross Sieghartz.