Bryan Barten waves to the crowd at Parapan American Games Lima 2019 on Aug. 29, 2019 in Lima, Peru.
Team USA’s wheelchair tennis athletes grabbed multiple podium finishes on Thursday at the Parapan American Games in Lima.
For Bryan Barten (Hart,Michigan), who has waited 20 years for his first medal, a dream was realized today with his bronze medal victory 6-3, 6-1 at the in the men’s quad singles division.
“This is a great feeling, said Barten. The fans here in the stadium were wonderful, this was definitely worth the wait.”
The day was bookended with a veteran victory to start, and a promising finish for the youngest doubles team in Lima in the afternoon.
The doubles team of Chris Herman (Gulfport, Florida) and Casey Ratzlaff (Wichita, Kansas) will bring home the silver in their Parapan American Games debut. They faced the Argentinian team of Agustin Ledesma and Gustavo Fernandez, who is the No.1 ranked singles player in the world. The Argentinians won 6-2, 6-0.
Herman and Ratzlaff have been playing together since first teaming up on the junior circuit and saw today as a big moment in their tennis career.
“This is the best we’ve ever played, “ said Ratzlaff. Herman added, “We know each other and each other’s game inside and out. Winning this silver medal is a great start to our Paralympic career.”
Team USA will compete for additional hardware tomorrow with Casey Ratzlaff back on the court in the men’s singles bronze medal match, Dana Mathewson (San Diego, California) and Emmy Kaiser (Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky) are set for the women’s doubles gold medal final and David Wagner will also be looking for a golden finish in the quad singles finals.