Wagner nets unprecedented tenth NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters quad title


| NEC Wheelchair Masters

David Wagner of the USA claimed his tenth NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters quad title on the last day of the 2017 event on Sunday to ensure that he ends the season as the year-end No. 1 quad singles player.

Wagner defeated Britain’s Andy Lapthorne 6-1, 6-2 to become only the second player in the event’s  history to earn a tally of NEC Masters titles that runs into double figures. The only player to win more NEC Masters titles than Wagner is 14-time women’s champion Esther Vergeer.

The 50th career meeting between Lapthorne and Wagner began with the Briton taking the opening game, but six games in succession put Wagner firmly in control as the two players met to decide which of them finishes 2017 as world No. 1.  

A clinical Wagner ultimately won with relative ease for his sixth NEC Masters title in succession.

“I feel great, I’m excited. I’ve said all week that no one comes here to take second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth. We all come here to take first place. There can only be one and I’m really excited that it’s me,” said Wagner, who continued to carry the momentum into the second set, earning a 4-1lead.

“The ultimate goal is not to end the year as No.1 it’s to play my best tennis. The titles and the ranking is a big part of who I am as a tennis player; but it doesn’t define me either.

“(The tenth title) is something that I’m very proud of and it’s something that I’ll always have and it’ll never be taken from me. But it’s about doing what I love to do and that’s so important to me. I absolutely love this sport and I can’t get enough if it.”

After finishing as NEC Masters runner-up for the third time, Lapthorne said: “I didn’t return well enough today and there were too many errors. David is so good at placing the ball if you hit it to him. I had a couple of chances in the second set to make it closer, but just didn’t take it.

“He’s serving on to a 50 pence piece every time and I know what’s coming. If I don’t keep the ball away from him he just hits it to the other side. He’s a legend of our sport. He doesn’t win all the title he does for nothing. “

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