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Andy Lapthorne

Lapthorne admits Three Lions almost scuppered Wimbledon hopes

Andy Lapthorne admitted thoughts of England’s Euros semi-final almost drove his Wimbledon dream off course, before recovering to power into the quad singles semi-final.

The self-confessed football fanatic Lapthorne looked to be cruising to victory over American David Wagner, as he looked to wrap up the win in time for England’s contest with the Netherlands at 8pm on Wednesday evening.

Lapthorne was a set and a break up and in full control before Wagner looked to throw a spanner in the works by breaking back when Lapthorne was serving for the match.

But the 33-year-old kept his composure to win the next game on Wagner’s serve and seal his place in the last four with a 6-2 6-4 victory in time for kick-off.

“It didn’t actually help me at the end of the match to be honest, it was a bit of a schoolboy error from me,” he admitted.

“I started to think about getting back for the game and lost a bit of focus there and nearly ended up going 5-5 which would have been a nightmare.

“I would have been back in a dogfight. Lessons learned there but great to get through and win a match at Wimbledon again.

“It puts me in a great spot for seeding for the Paralympics which has been a 12-month process so I am really proud of myself to be at this point and to be able to finish a match under that much pressure when there is so much riding on it.”

Victory for Lapthorne continued his impressive record against Wagner at Wimbledon, with the Londoner notching his third win from three matches against the American in SW19.

The match was also their 80th career meeting and 28th in Grand Slams, where the record stands at 14 wins apiece.

Lapthorne revealed it was a tough task to get past his familiar foe to set up a contest with world No.1 Sam Schroder, where he will be hoping for a similar result as the England football team against his Dutch opponent.

“It is not easy to play out there with the style he [Wagner] plays on the grass,” he added. “There is not much on the ball so you are constantly digging balls off the floor.

“You couldn’t really swing too much at the ball so I couldn’t really get into it that much but I just tried to do my best to get through. Today was all about winning.

“It is a massive match, playing the world No.1 at Wimbledon is always something exciting.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

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