Hammer Lapthorne lifts US Open title

West Ham United fan Andy Lapthorne won his first Grand Slam singles tennis title with victory in the wheelchair quad final at the US Open in New York.

The 23-year-old defeated American world No1 David Wagner 7-5 6-2 at Flushing Meadows.

The success added a first Grand Slam singles trophy to a collection that already includes three Australian Open quad doubles and one French Open quad doubles and a 2012 Paralympic Games silver medal.

"For the US Open to be my first Grand Slam singles title is so special because I love this place, the whole city is just great," said Lapthorne, who had lost to Wagner during the opening round-robin round. "I've visualised that match point before and when it happened I couldn't believe it! That's what I've always dreamed of.

"David is a legend of our division, so to beat him makes it all the more special. We always have tough battles as he sets the standard. I'm looking forward to David and the others coming to my back yard in London for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in November now.

"This victory was all heart and I felt like I served really well. I kept it consistent rather than big and that was my plan beforehand. My Dad told me I always do things two years after Andy Murray and I've done it again with the title here.

"I can't say thank you enough to my Mum and Dad for everything they've done for me. The Tennis Foundation and the LTA support us unbelievably well and they deserve huge credit. This title isn't for me, it's for everyone who's always supported me through tough times.

"It probably won't hit me until I get home and my family meet me at the airport but I've got a few days off in New York first.

"It's two years today until the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympics and this is another step on the journey to Rio and is definitely the first of many big titles!"

Lapthorne, who has cerebral palsy, teamed up with South African Lucas Sithole, who he defeated in the singles semi-finals, in the wheelchair quad doubles final. There, however, Wagner and fellow American Nicholas Taylor prevented the Hammer from achieving a win double by scoring a 6-3 7-5 victory.