David Wagner advances to meet doubles partner
Nick Taylor in the quad singles semifinals
LONDON - The U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis Team is guaranteed a medal. On Tuesday at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, David Wagner (Hillsboro, Ore.), ranked No. 1 in the world, and No. 6 Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kan.) are set to face each other in the semi-finals of the men’s quad singles competition on Thursday.
The duo will also play together in the doubles final Wednesday. At the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, the Taylor and Wagner combined for a gold medal in the quad doubles competition. Wagner beat Taylor in the bronze medal match.
Taylor was the talk of Eaton Manor Tuesday after he came back from a set down to beat Anders Hard of Sweden 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. The American changed his strategy after the first set in an attempt to take advantage of the windy conditions and it paid off.
“I’m from Kansas,” Taylor said. "It's extremely windy in Kansas so I’m used to playing in the wind and used to using the wind to my advantage.”
The strategy to hit high balls worked for him as well as Taylor cruised in the final set easily.
In other singles play, Wagner, who was seen cheering Taylor on from the stands, beat Israeli Boaz Kramer earlier in the day 6-3, 6-0, while Bryan Barten (Tucson, Ariz.) fell to No. 2 seed Noam Gershony from Israel.
Wagner and Taylor will now team up to defend their doubles crown against Great Britain’s Peter Norfolk and Andy Lapthorne. The Americans are fulling expecting the home crowd to be pulling hard for the Englishmen tomorrow, Wagner and Taylor are still confident they can come out on top.
“We’ve played on centre court and we’re ready for whatever comes our way,” Taylor said.