“I need to work harder tomorrow to make better contact with the ball and attack a bit more."
Great Britain’s world No.2 Peter Norfolk will play American world No. 1 David Wagner in Saturday’s (28 January) quad singles final at the Australian Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships after a tough final day of group matches.
Norfolk will meet Wagner in his sixth Australian Open final, with Wagner having won last year’s title decider after Norfolk’s victories in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Four-time Australian Open champion Norfolk won the first game of Friday’s contest against Wagner as the world’s top two players went head-to-head in their final group match, but Wagner won the next four games en route to taking the first set.
Norfolk again took the opening game of the second set before Wagner opened up a commanding 5-1 lead. Unbeaten after his first two round-robin matches in Melbourne this week, Norfolk retrieved one of the breaks and saved two match points at 5-2 down, but despite saving three more match points on his own serve the Brit eventually succumbed 6-4 6-3.
“I am a little bit lucky to be in the final but I am slowly finding patches of form since my return from injury,” said Norfolk.
“I need to work harder tomorrow to make better contact with the ball and attack a bit more. I had a lot of chances today but didn't quite take them. Saying that, it's great to be in the final and tomorrow is a different day!”
In the day’s other quad match world No.4 Andy Lapthorne built a 5-3 first set lead against Israel’s world No. 3 Noam Gershony, but the Brit was unable to convert two set points in the ninth game and Gershony went on to snatch the set. Thereafter, reigning NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champion Gershony dominated the second set, eventually sealing a 7-5 6-1 victory.
Norfolk will now bid to add to the quad doubles title that he and Lapthorne won on Thursday, when the Brits beat Gershony and Wagner to retain their title.