David Wagner (born March 4, 1974) is an American wheelchair tennis player. Paralyzed from the mid-chest down and with thirty percent function in his hands, he competes in the quadriplegic division of that sport. He plays by taping the tennis racket to his hand. He is currently ranked number one in the world in both singles and doubles.
Wagner was born in Fullerton, California, and grew up in Walla Walla, Washington. He played basketball in high school and tennis in college. He became a quadriplegic at age 21 while visiting a friend in Redondo Beach, California, during summer break. He and his friends were playing frisbee on the beach and Wagner began chasing after the frisbee through shallow water. He attempted to jump over a wave, but the wave caught his feet, spun him around, and he landed head-first in the sand, leaving him paralyzed. He took a year off of college and began practicing table tennis as part of his rehabilitation. He won a national competition in that sport three years in a row, from 1997 to 1999.
In 1999, at age 25, he attended a wheelchair tennis training camp set up by Rick Draney, then the top-ranked quadriplegic tennis player in the world. Wagner immediately loved the sport and by 2002 was the number one ranked U.S. quadriplegic player. At the 2004 Summer Paralympics he won a gold medal in quad doubles with Nick Taylor and a silver medal in singles. The next year he reached number one in the world rankings in both singles and doubles and repeated that achievement in 2007. Also in 2007, he participated in the first quad competitions held at the U.S. Open, winning doubles with Taylor and taking second in singles behind Peter Norfolk. Wagner had successfully urged the United States Tennis Association to include a quadriplegic division at the event; the U.S. Open was the first of the Grand Slam tournaments to do so. The Australian Open followed suit the next year, and Wagner again lost the first place match of the singles competition to Norfolk and won doubles with Taylor. At the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, he and Taylor won gold in doubles and competed against each other in the bronze medal match of the singles event, with Wagner taking the match and the medal. As of January 2011, Wagner is ranked first in singles and doubles.
Wagner worked as an elementary school teacher until 2004, when he began competing in tennis full-time. From 2006 until 2014 he lived in Hillsboro, Oregon, and then moved to Chula Vista, California.