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Wichitan Nick Taylor advances to Paralympics’ wheelchair tennis semifinals

  • Eagle staff
  • Published Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2012, at 10:57 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2012, at 7:13 p.m.

Wichitan Nick Taylor is already assured of one medal at the London Paralympics, but he’s within reach of a second, somewhat surprising medal.

Taylor won his singles quarterfinal in quad wheelchair tennis Tuesday, meaning he continues in his quest for two medals during these Games.

“Coming into the Games, I was mainly preparing for doubles and considered anything I did in singles a bonus,” Taylor wrote in an e-mail to The Eagle. “So far in singles I’ve played very well.… If someone would’ve told me before I left that I would have a chance to play for a medal in singles, I don’t know if I would’ve believed them.”

Taylor defeated Anders Hard of Sweden 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to advance to Thursday’s semifinals against fellow American and doubles partner David Wagner.

Taylor and Wagner will play in the gold-medal doubles match Wednesday. They are seeking their third straight gold and will face Great Britain’s Peter Norfolk and Andy Lapthorne.

“In doubles, we are playing very well and had a very difficult semifinal against a strong team from Israel,” Taylor wrote. “We will now play the team we expected to play in the final, the team from Great Britain. We know they will be very hungry and want to be us very badly.”

Then comes Thursday’s singles semifinal. Taylor and Wagner have a long singles history, but history isn’t on Taylor’s side. Wagner is 60-7 against Taylor in singles matches, including the bronze-medal match in Beijing in 2008.

“I don’t have the best record against him, but even if I lose the semifinal I have a chance to play for the bronze medal,” Taylor wrote.

Taylor has not medaled in Paralympic singles competition.

Bird begins Wednesday — Conway Springs’ Jordan Bird begins competition in two track races today in London. He’ll compete in first-round heats of the 400 meters and 800 meters. The 800 final is Thursday and the 400 final is Friday with a semifinal round on Thursday.

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