By Nicholas J. Walz, USTA.com
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) recently honored the world No. 1-ranked doubles duo of Bob and Mike Bryan, as well as world No. 1 wheelchair tennis player David Wagner, each winning the vote for June’s USOC Team of the Month and Male Athlete of the Month, respectively.
The Bryan brothers and Wagner were joined by swimmer Katie Ledecky, who earned Female Athlete of the Month honors.
The 35-year-old Bryans, already the all-time winningest team in the history of men’s doubles, went undefeated in June and captured their 14th career Grand Slam title at the 2013 French Open, as well as their 90th ATP title as a tandem at the Wimbledon tune-up event in London the following week. The French Open win was their first title together on the iconic Roland Garros red clay since 2003.
Fresh off of leading Team USA to a first-place quad-division finish at the 2013 BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Antalya, Turkey, in late May, Wagner continued his stellar play in June. The defending US Open champion claimed four quad titles while notching a 7-0 record in singles matches and a 5-0 record in doubles. Highlights included victories in singles and doubles competition at the 2013 Japan Open in Lizuka, Japan, and the 2013 BNP Paribas Open in Paris. The Paribas Open win marked his second consecutive International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super Series title, as he regained the quad singles crown with a straight-sets win over world No. 7 Anders Hard of Sweden. In doubles, he partnered with Canada’s Adrian Dieleman for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory. The Japan Open saw Wagner defeat Lucas Sithole of South Africa, 6-1, 6-4, in the singles final and partner with Canadian Sarah Hunter for the 7-5, 7-6 (4) doubles victory.
"This award is a real honor to be recognized on top of of all the other awesome athletes who were nominated," said Wagner. "I love representing the U.S., and I work hard everyday to do my best in competition."
"David Wagner’s success in June simply mirrors the success of his career," added Dan James, USTA National Manager of Wheelchair Tennis and longtime coach of Wagner. "He has been an amazing asset to US Wheelchair Tennis and we couldn’t be more proud of him and his accomplishments. This is a well deserved honor."
World No. 1 women’s player Serena Williams finished second to Ledecky in the voting after a strong June showing in which she captured her second career French Open singles title at Roland Garros and went 7-0 during the month overall.
To determine winners each month, the USOC allows each sport’s recognized National Governing Body to nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline. A voting panel selects the winners from the pool of nominees, with online fan voting via Twitter accounting for 10 percent of the total vote.