Wheelchair tennis star Andy Lapthorne

Andy Lapthorne with his quad doubles partner Peter Norfolk.
Andy Lapthorne with his quad doubles partner Peter Norfolk. Photo: Tennis Foundation

With just 100 days to go until the Paralympics wheelchair tennis player Andy Lapthorne is getting steadily more excited... or is that nervous? He spoke to us as he took on Ade Adepitan, paralympic wheelchair basketball player, at a spot of tennis...

"One-hundred days to go Andy - how are you feeling?"

"It's just getting closer and closer... from two years out you think I've got so much time and then gradually it gets closer and closer. On the website there's a count down and to go into double figures is going to be unreal - you know it's just round the corner and you need to start training hard."

Andy was born with Cerebral Palsy. It affects his legs in that he can't walk very far, his arms which he can't fully straighten, and his grip. He is also left handed. In fact when he first started playing aged 12 he used both hands to work out which was the best - it turned out left is best!

He originally played football and joined a disabled team from the age of eight but after a couple of years he said realised the sport wasn't going to get him to the elite levels he wanted to go to:

"So I started to search for sports which were more on keel with an able-bodied sport in terms of being really elite and professional. I started playing wheelchair basketball and then actually attended one of the tennis foundation camps they run to get disabled people playing tennis. I attended that and met one of the coaches, Stu, and we've been working together for about eight years now."

Andy is ranked fourth in the world at singles and at doubles has won the Australian Grand Slam with his quad doubles partner Peter Norfolk, not once but twice. He will be going not just for medals this summer but gold.

Ade Adepitan, who won Bornze with the British wheelchair basketball team at the Paralympic Games in Athens 2004 said:

"He takes no pity on me on the court! He's got really good prospects for this year if he keeps working really hard, keeps doing what he's doing, then good things can happen."

See Sally's report with Andy below: