David Wagner addressed the Court 11 faithful – including a fellow US Open champion in Venus Williams – with tears of celebration. The defending Wheelchair Quad champion rallied from losing on the first day of play on Thursday to take three straight wins in as many days, culminating with a 7-5, 3-1 (ret.) victory over rival Peter Norfolk of Great Britain on Sunday night. With the win, Wagner matches Norfolk in US Open Quad singles titles with two for his career – Norfolk won in 2007 and 2009.
“Its hard to say what’s really going through my mind – a million things,” said Wagner. “Even with all the importance of winning the US Open, to do this on the anniversary of 9/11 is very emotional and important for me as an American. Thank you for sharing this.”
Wagner received well, winning 25 of 54 points and 56 points in all. Though he does not possess the serving power of Norfolk, Wagner found balance with his first serve and breaking the big Brit at timely moments. After Wagner broke to go up 3-1 in the second set, Norfolk tried to loosen up and serve but was clearly uncomfortable. He wheeled over to the umpire and ended the match.
After embracing his parents, Wagner went over to greet Williams who appeared delighted, despite sister Serena’s loss in the Women’s Final in nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium just an hour before.
“Just ‘congratulations,’” said Wagner when asked what was said between the two. “I met her a few years back in Australia and we really hit it off and became good friends. She takes an interest in wheelchair tennis and its great to have her support and her willingness to give to our brand of sport.”
Joining Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands and Japan’s Shingo Kunieda, Wagner’s win clinched a repeat for all three wheelchair singles champions from 2010 to 2011. The Wheelchair competition will cease for 2012 in Queens while the players compete in the 2012 Paralympics in London.
In regards to next year, Wagner is excited for the opportunity to represent the United States in the Paralympics and he was extremely emotional following his US Open title win to be an American athlete winning a Grand Slam on September 11.
“It’s a dream come true to take part in the Paralympics and I want to do the best I can do while over (in London),” said Wagner. “To come home with two gold medals – one in singles and one in doubles with my friend and partner Nick Taylor, I can’t think of anything better to come back with in 2013 than that.”
- Both players had the same amount of unforced errors and double faults - four.
- Norfolk fired seven aces.
- Wagner was 50% (3 for 6) on break point opportunities.