Wheelchair tennis – The best quotesDylan Alcott, Gordon Reid, Andy Lapthorne, Aniek van Koot and Kgothatso Montjane share their reactions from a thrilling competition. 18 Sep 2016
The raw emotion from all the players was on show during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Here is what they had to say.
Dylan Alcott – Quad singles and doubles
The Australian made his wheelchair tennis Paralympic debut in Rio after competing in the previous two Games in wheelchair basketball. In 2008 in Beijing he claimed his first Paralympic gold medal, before getting a silver four years later. Now, after a fantastic Paralympics, he has two wheelchair tennis gold medals.
“I love having a disability and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve done the double-double I guess, two-sport gold and the doubles and singles, that sounds alright to me,” he said.
“To reach the pinnacle of two Paralympic sports and win gold in both sports, if you told me that when I was a little kid when I was having a tough time about my insecurities about my chair, I would’ve said ‘no way, mate!’
“It’s a massive feeling of relief because I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but I’m also so proud of my team and friends and family and everyone that has supported me.”
Gordon Reid – Men’s singles and doubles
What a year Gordon Reid has had. After his first Grand Slam win in Australia in January, he backed it up by winning the singles and doubles at Wimbledon. He then topped it off by winning gold in the Paralympic singles and taking silver in the doubles.
“I could never have dreamed of having such a good year,” said Reid.
“I’m just loving every minute of being out on court, playing tennis and showcasing our sport to the massive crowd here and the massive coverage all over the world.”
Andy Lapthorne – Quad singles and doubles
The Londoner had a fantastic Rio 2016, making the quad singles final, where he took silver, and winning the bronze medal match alongside Great Britain teammate Jamie Burdekin.
But Lapthorne will probably be most remembered for his celebrations after beating legendary American David Wagner in the semi-final.
“That, tonight, right there, was my destiny,” said an emotional Lapthorne after winning his semi-final.
“I would love to win gold. I came here to win gold and that’s what I want to do, but to lay on that court tonight and to know that I’m not going into two bronze medal matches is, honestly, the best moment of my life.
“I’ve never felt like that before and I will probably never feel like that again.”
Aniek van Koot – Women’s singles and doubles
Aniek van Koot claimed doubles gold and singles silver at Rio 2016, four years after winning two silvers at London 2012. She was a part of the Dutch dominance once again as the Netherlands claimed singles and doubles gold and silver for the third successive Games.
“It makes me patriotic and very proud. I don’t like wearing orange at all, but in events like the Paralympics I’m super proud to wear it,” said van Koot.
Kgothatso Montjane – Women’s singles
Kgothatso Montjane was the only African female wheelchair tennis athlete competing at Rio 2016.
The 30-year-old advanced to the second round before she was beaten. “It is a huge achievement for me to be an African top wheelchair tennis player,” said Montjane.
“There is a lot of pressure in order to represent the continent with pride. The support is overwhelming, so for me just to be here, I want to enjoy it and represent my continent really well.”