Peter Norfolk and Esther Vergeer win in Eton Manor test event

By Elizabeth HudsonBBC Paralympic sport reporter
Britain's Peter Norfolk
Victory for Peter Norfolk at Eton Manor

Paralympic wheelchair tennis champions Esther Vergeer and Peter Norfolk both triumphed in Saturday's London 2012 test event finals at Eton Manor.

Dutch ace Vergeer made it 454 straight singles victories with a 7-5 6-1 win over Britain's Jordanne Whiley.

Britain's Norfolk claimed a 2-6 7-6 (7/4) 7-5 success over Anders Hard of Sweden in the quad singles decider.

He then partnered Andy Lapthorne to a 6-1 6-4 doubles final victory against Hard and Marcus Jonsson.

"Coming here this week I just wanted to experience the venue," Vergeer told BBC Sport, as she continues her bid to win a fourth Paralympic gold medal when Eton Manor hosts the Paralympic event in September.

"I wanted to see the layout and the facilities and also have a hit on Centre Court and see what it feels and looks like and how the ball bounces on the surface.

"Although it is an advantage for me because I like to know where I will play and hang out and see it in my mind, I don't know if it will put me at an advantage over my competitors when it comes to September. Maybe it isn't as important for other people.

"I think it's a great venue and it is a good surface to play on - the court is easy to push around and the bounce is even - but it is a fast surface so that is something I will be working on as we get closer to the Games.

"Although it is a smaller venue than the Beijing Paralympic venue, British fans have a great appreciation of Paralympic sport so I think it will be full and have a good atmosphere."

Norfolk will be aiming to win his third Paralympic singles title in London and his doubles partnership with Lapthorne, who is hopeful of making his Games debut, is developing well as they aim to end the reign of two-time champions David Wagner and Nick Taylor from the United States.

The Eton Manor success was the British pair's second in consecutive tournaments following victory in last month's Florida Open final and Norfolk, known as the Quadfather, was also pleased to have had the chance to experience the venue.

"My target was to win both the singles and doubles this week and while the doubles final win was convincing, the singles wasn't great," he said.

"But the main purpose was to play on the courts and get a feel and a flavour for the venue and, apart from the weather being so cold, it has worked quite nicely.

"I'm pleased with the facilities and the courts are great and it is going to be a fantastic legacy. I can't wait to play on a full Centre Court at Games time and get the crowd on my side - it's very exciting."

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