USA tennis duo make it three in a row

Nick Taylor and David Wagner back up wins in Athens and Beijing by repelling British challenge to take gold. 05 Sep 2012
USA wheelchair tennis

The USA's Nicholas Taylor and David Wagner compete in the quad doubles wheelchair tennis gold medal match at London 2012


"Things like today, playing in front of a sold-out stadium and having a great match, does nothing but help."

USA pairing Nick Taylor and David Wagner clinched their third consecutive Paralympic gold medal in a thrilling men’s quad doubles final against Great Britain duo Andy Lapthorne and Peter Norfolk.

Taylor and Wagner won the first set in fine style 6-2, before the British pair stormed back to win the second 7-5 and take it to a decider.

In front of a gripped Eton Manor crowd, the American pair then clinched the gold medal by taking the final set 6-2 to emulate their wins at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

“I think it feels just as good - it's right up there and we appreciate it, because we have just something that no other Paralympic team has ever done,” Wagner said.

“So it's a true honour and to do that with Nick is truly awesome."

Taylor hopes that the win will continue to build the profile of the sport in the USA.

“I think we are just constantly trying to gain momentum in terms of that and the more media attention we get, the better,” Taylor said.

“I think here at these Games it has been higher than at any other Games, so that's good, and we just need to keep increasing it at every Games. Things like today, playing in front of a sold-out stadium and having a great match, does nothing but help it.”

Norfolk admitted that Britain’s slow start ultimately cost them.

“Going into the third set, we were confident but sometimes you just can't turn a game around and that happened today,” Norfolk said.

Israel’s Noam Gershont and Shraga Weinberg took the bronze medal.

In the women’s singles semi-finals, Esther Vergeer continued her remarkable winning run to book a place in the final against compatriot Aniek Van Koot.

Vergeer beat another Dutch opponent, Jiske Griffioen, 6-0, 6-3, in her semi-final match.

“We're on the same team and we both really know each other's game,” Vergeer said. “I know she has a difficult backhand slice so I know to avoid her backhand."

“I knew when to turn the switch to make it go my way.”

Van Koot beat German Sabine Ellerbrook 7-5, 6-2 in her last four encounter.

“I'm so excited, I don't think I've realised yet what has just happened,” Van Koot said.

“It'll hit me later. It's amazing. There's such a relief that I have the opportunity to win a silver or a gold.

“I just wanted to be a little mouse in the first round so I could look ahead and see what was happening later in the competition to calm my nerves.”

In the men’s seingles quarter-finals, defending champion Shingo Kunieda of Japan beat France’s Michael Jeremiasz 6-0, 6-2.

He will now face Netherlands’ Ronald Vink, after he edged past Belgium’s Joachim Gerard 7-6, 2-6, 603.

The other Thursday (6 September) semi-final will see Stephan Houdet of France take on Maikel Scheffers of Netherlands.

Houdet beat Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez 6-1, 1-6, 6-1, while Scheffers defeated Great Britain’s Gordon Reid 6-3, 6-3.

In the men’s doubles quarter-finals, France’s defending champions Houdet and Michael Jeremiasz beat Japan’s Kunieda and Satoshi Saida 6-3, 6-1.

Stefan Olsson and Peter Vikstrom of Sweden beat Netherlands’ Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers 6-3, 6-2.

Netherlands pair Vink and Robin Ammerlaan fared better, recovering from a slow start to beat Japan’s Takuya Miki and Takeshi Sanada 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.

A second French team are also into the semi-finals after Frederic Cattaneo and Nicolas Peifer defeated Great Britain’s Mac McCarroll and Gordon Reid 7-6, 6-4.