Wheelchair tennis legend retires from competition with new goal in mind

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — After representing Wichita on the national and global levels, Nick Taylor is hanging up the racket and retiring from USTA Wheelchair Tennis Competition.

KSN News caught up with Taylor to get his thoughts on his retirement.

“The people that I heard from were just awesome,” Taylor said. “Some of the people I haven’t talked to in 15-20 years.”

Taylor’s tennis career spanned four decades, four US Presidents, and included four Paralympic medals.

“I don’t think it hit me that I could really be one of the best players in the world, and represent my country until somewhere between 1999-2000,” Taylor said.

His game also featured arguably the most unique and noticeable tennis serve in the sport, which saw Taylor balance the ball on his foot before tossing it into the air before the serve.

“I was just doing it naturally,” Taylor said. “I didn’t think it was even weird until I first started playing in high school and people were just freaking out.”

While Taylor is retiring from wheelchair tennis, his competitive nature isn’t going anywhere.

“I’m taking on a whole new sport called ‘boccia’. And I’ve already made the US National team for that and the goal is to qualify for Paris in 2024.”

A legendary Paralympian, going from a lifelong passion to a newly-found flame.

Taylor explained what he told his friends the first time he went to play boccia.

“I said, ‘you know what’s going to happen if I roll in that gym, you know what this is going to turn into,” Taylor said. “‘It’s going to turn into an obsession, and then I’m going to try to make a national team. And then I’m going to try to make a Paralympics, I just know how my brain works.”

Taylor said while he is directing his competitive energy to the 2024 Paralympics with the USA Boccia Team, he still loves coming to Wichita State and continuing his work as the first-ever director of operations for the tennis program.

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