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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Monday, 20 December 2010

Paralympian Norfolk unfazed by loss of top ranking

Peter Norfolk
Norfolk was awarded an OBE in October 2009

Two-time Paralympic wheelchair tennis champion Peter Norfolk is not disappointed to end the 2010 season as world number two quad singles player.

Norfolk finished eight points behind David Wagner in the rankings, despite beating the American at the end-of-year Singles Masters in Amsterdam.

Norfolk, 50, told BBC Solent: "I won the Singles Masters and that's what people remember you for.

"I've got a lot to look forward to in 2011 and the year after as well."

He added: "I've been number one for a long time but didn't compete in as many tournaments so didn't win as many points. That's just the way it goes."

Norfolk from Alton, Hampshire, followed up his singles success in Amsterdam with another victory over Wagner, this time at the Camozzi Doubles Masters in Italy.

Norfolk and partner Andy Lapthorne beat Beijing Paralympic champions Wagner and Nick Taylor to become the first all-British pairing to win the tournament, and the Briton admits he has a great sense of pride in this achievement.

"I like breaking records so I was really pleased with that," he said.

"It was Andy's first major win and we beat the Paralympic champions, so it's fantastic for us and for the future of the sport.

"The beauty of this is I get partnered with exciting young athletes, who are all working hard to improve, which is great for me as I am getting on a bit," smiled Norfolk.

Norfolk will now look forward to competing at the Australian Open in January with the hope of winning the event for the fifth time in his career.

"I really want to win the Australian Grand Slam, it's a fantastic tournament and great for the beginning of the year.

"But it's hard from a training point of view because we finish late in November and then the season starts again in January. So it's pretty tough because essentially there's a tournament in nearly every week of the year."



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