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Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Peter Norfolk secures opening win at Australian Open

Peter Norfolk
Norfolk is hoping for another Australian Open crown

Peter Norfolk opened his Australian Open quad singles title defence with a straight-sets win over fellow Briton Andrew Lapthorne.

The double Paralympic champion won 6-2 6-2 in the first of his three round-robin matches at Melbourne Park.

"The first match always has plenty of pressure, but playing Andy in his first Grand Slam added to it," said world number two Norfolk.

He will face US world number one David Wagner on Thursday.

Norfolk, who is bidding for his fifth Australian Open title, got the better of some tight early games against 20-year-old world number six Lapthorne to take a 3-0 lead and extended that before his opponent held serve to reduce the deficit to 4-1.

Lapthorne retrieved one of the breaks against him in the next game, but after saving one set point he was unable to repeat the feat as Norfolk took the initiative.

Norfolk broke immediately at the start of the second set and Lapthorne could never get back on terms as the defending champion consolidated a second break to move 5-2 ahead and then served out comfortably.

"My serve started to work and Andy played some very good points, but his nerves in what is a new experience for him certainly helped me today," added Norfolk.

Briton Jordanne Whiley, who is also making her Grand Slam debut, put up a fine early effort in her opening women's singles match against Dutch world number four Jiske Griffioen, but she ultimately slipped to a 6-4 6-1 loss.

Whiley, the world number 10 who came into the event as a replacement for injured compatriot Lucy Shuker, broke the Dutchwoman in the very first game and went on to open up a 4-2 lead.

However, she was unable to extend that lead to 5-2 and had another chance to level at 5-5, but Griffioen's experience eventually helped to see her through the match.

Whiley will now open her doubles campaign on Thursday, partnering Australia's Daniela di Toro as they take on reigning Wimbledon and US Open champions Esther Vergeer and Sharon Walraven of the Netherlands.

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see also
Norfolk eyes Australian Open win
25 Jan 11 |  Disability Sport
Norfolk secures Australian title
30 Jan 10 |  Disability Sport
Norfolk unfazed by rankings slip
20 Dec 10 |  Disability Sport
Norfolk and Vergeer secure titles
22 Nov 10 |  Disability Sport
Norfolk takes victory on comeback
06 Sep 10 |  Disability Sport
Disability Sport on the BBC
02 Nov 09 |  Disability Sport
A-Z of Paralympic classification
28 Aug 08 |  Disability Sport

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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES Peter Norfolk beats Nick Taylor to make Australian Open quad singles wheelchair tennis final - 1 hr ago
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SportFocus 28/01/2011 - Lapthorne and Norfolk lift Australian Open title - 4 hrs ago