On Friday, world No. 1 quad player David Wagner was named the inaugural ITF Quad Wheelchair World Champion.
Here’s more on the American wheelchair tennis legend, whose latest accolade caps off an incredibly successful 2017 season:
The David Wagner File
Residence: Hillsboro, Ore.
Current Rank: 1
Career-High Rank: 1 (April 2003)
Best US Open Wheelchair Competition Finish: Champion (2010, 2011, 2017)
- The 2017 ITF World Champion honor came one week after Wagner dropped only three games in the title match at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters singles championship, the wheelchair equivalent of the ATP Finals or WTA Finals. Wagner swept the title match, 6-1, 6-2, over Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne, for his 10th NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters singles championship.
- Wagner also took home Uniqlo Wheelchair Doubles Masters in Bemmel, Netherlands, with compatriot Nick Taylor, which was the duo’s 10th Doubles Masters quad title together.
- Wagner and Taylor have been the premier team in wheelchair tennis for most of this century. The two have won three gold medals at the Paralympic Games as well as three Australian Open titles and seven crowns at the US Open Wheelchair Competition.
- The Walla Walla, Wash., native also saw a successful run at the 2017 US Open Wheelchair Competition, where he took home the singles and doubles titles (with Lapthorne) in the quad division. It marked Wagner’s third singles title in Flushing Meadows and his eighth doubles crown in eight attempts (though the first without Taylor).
- Wagner, a former high school tennis player, was paralyzed in 1995 in an accident on the beach. He did not pick up a racquet again until 1999, when he started playing wheelchair tennis. He quickly ascended the ranks and by 2003 had become the No.1-ranked quad tennis player in the world.
They Said It!
“It is a real honor to be the first quad player to be recognized by the ITF at the World Champions Dinner. This award is very special to me, and is much bigger than just me. It is an award that I will always cherish and will always remember the players who came before me.” – Wagner, to itftennis.com, on being named the inaugural ITF Quad Wheelchair World Champion