David Wagner falls in the gold medal match
LONDON - On the hottest day of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Americas David Wagner (Hillsboro, Ore.) , the No. 1 seed in the quad singles division, won a silver medal bringing his Paralympic collection to five. Wagner fought well, but fell to the hands of the No. 2 seed Noam Gershony in 56 minutes 6-3, 6-1.
Unfortunately for Wagner, Gershony played the match of his life on the biggest stage he’s ever seen, outplaying Wagner with sizzling down the line winners that left Wagner with no options. Gershony himself was surprised by the win, thinking it would be near impossible to overtake the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games silver medalist and Beijing 2008 bronze medalist.
“I don't think David brought himself to the match today,”Gershony said. “David is an amazing player and he is dangerous, focused and can always come back. I can't believe I took it.”
A true sportsman, Wager was quick to praise his opponent rather than make excuses for the loss.
"I'm playing against a guy who is a great player,” Wagner said. “He is physically strong. He is able to manipulate the ball a lot more than the average player. I threw what I had at him, gave it my best chance and he just returned better and served better today."
Despite his on court smart sense, and the top ranked player in the world, the 38-year-old Wagner admitted winning doesn’t come easy against the younger generation.
"Sure, I think that happens in every sport no matter what sport, no matter what level,” he said. “You can only stay on top for so long. There is only one person on top and everybody wants that spot."
Wagner should be proud. With a third consecutive gold medal in quad doubles with Nick Taylor, Wagner leaves London as the U.S.’s most decorated quad ever to play wheelchair tennis, winning six medals in three Games.