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Andy Lapthorne reckons he is reaping the rewards of adopting a more laid-back mentality after sealing his spot in a sixth final at the LTA’s British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships in Nottingham, writes Tum Balogun.
The two-time US Open singles champion, who is supported by the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Pathway, led Robert Shaw 7-5 3-1 before the Canadian was forced to retire through injury.
Middlesex ace Lapthorne now faces a rematch against Australian Heath Davidson – who beat him at Wimbledon earlier this month – in the final and hopes his newly-discovered relaxed mindset can fire him to glory.
Lapthorne, 31, said: “I’m just grinding away, trying to find good tennis and trying to play week to week.
“That’s what I’ve done this week, I’ve turned up and tried to find another level.
“It’s just about trying to find a way. Playing point to point, not looking too far ahead and looking at the score or whatever.
“Just trying to play good tennis all the time, not worrying how it has gone before or what the score is.
"Thankfully I managed to do that, and good things happen when you do that.
“With him pulling out with an injury, it shows how important it is to stay in that first set and force him to play longer rallies and I got my reward in the end."
Davidson, 35, booked his spot in the final with a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 win against David Wagner.
And ahead of his second clash with Lapthorne in the space of just over a week, the three-time Grand Slam singles semi-finalist said: "If I just play my game, stay in control and stay calm then I can be a pretty good tennis player at times.
"[Wagner] broke me early in that second set and then I broke back and played solid.
"I know within myself that if I play my style of tennis and what I’m capable of playing I can beat anyone."
For more information on the LTA’s British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships click here