Wagner Wins First 2020 Title
in Australian Open Lead Up
Victoria Chiesa | January 27, 2020
American wheelchair ace David Wagner will head into the first Grand Slam of 2020 with a title under his belt.
The American partnered Aussie Heath Davidson to win the Melbourne Wheelchair Tennis Open, an ITF 1 Series event on the UNIQLO ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour, over the weekend, ahead of the Australian Open.
The duo, seeded No. 1, overcame No. 2 seeds Sam Schroeder and Niels Vink of the Netherlands in a match tiebreak in Sunday's final, 7-6, 3-6, 12-10, after beating Brits Andy Lapthorne and Antony Cotterill in the semifinals, 7-5, 7-5.
The victory ensures Wagner of at least one title on tour for a staggering 20th consecutive season, dating back to his first international doubles triumph in 2001.
He fell in the semifinals of the quad singles event to Vink, but bounced back for a strong week ahead of the year's first Slam after losing his first singles and doubles match at the Tweed Heads International Wheelchair Tennis Open, an ITF Super Series event, to begin the year.ADVERTISEMENT
The California native, who ended 2019 by winning the NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters on home soil at the USTA National Campus, owns three quad singles and eight quad doubles titles at Melbourne Park, which included a run of five straight doubles crowns from 2013-17.
Seeded No. 3 in this year's singles pool, the 45-year-old Wagner will be the United States' lone representative in this week's Australian Open, competing in the four-man quad singles round-robin event with Davidson, Lapthorne and Dylan Alcott, and will also partner Lapthorne in the quad doubles event.
In the two years since his last Australian Open title of any kind, the 2017 quad doubles partnering Lapthorne, Wagner finished as runner-up in both quad singles and doubles.