Paralympic tennis star Peter Norfolk wins Florida Open and looks to recapture his world no 1 spot

Bob Harris

Last updated 4/14/2011 9:44:46 AM

Olympic gold medallist Peter Norfolk is looking to regain his world number one place after winning his sixth Florida Open quad singles title.

The two-time Paralympic wheelchair tennis champion beat the unseeded Israeli player Noam Gershony 6-2 6-3 after the outsider had a shock win over world number one David Wagner earlier in the tournament.

The victory brought Norfolk's tally of major singles titles at either Grand Slam or Super Series events to 19.

Not bad for a 50 year old who was left paraplegic after a motorbike crash at the tender age of 19!

He was last ranked as the best in the world back in September 2003 but, despite playing second fiddle to Wagner in the rankings he has won the gold medal at successive Olympic Games, taken three Australian Open titles, two at the US Open and won three Masters titles.

He was hoping to have another crack at the American Wagner only to see him crash to the man he met in the final on his way to yet another major title.

After a solid opening set Norfolk made the first breakthrough in the second set, holding serve to move 4-2 ahead. He then won the last two games of the match to seal his sixth title in Boca Raton since 2004, although it was his first since 2009.

"It was a surprising week, playing players with some new and different styles," said Norfolk. "I played a solid tactical final against Noam, who was in his first Super Series final. My backhand returns were very penetrating and I'm very happy to have regained the title."

But Norfolk's hopes of a third Florida Open doubles title ended when he and fellow Briton John Parfitt were beaten 6-4 6-1 by American top seeds Wagner and Nick Taylor. Currently ranked fifth in doubles he has taken seven majors and won silver and bronze in Athens and Beijing.