Wheelchair competition returns to the 2011 US Open

August 1, 2011 05:07 PM
The USTA announced the field for the 2011 US Open Wheelchair Competition. The event, in its sixth year, will be held September 8-11, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The competition will feature 20 of the top wheelchair tennis athletes from around the globe.
 
The 2011 US Open Wheelchair Competition will feature a Men’s, Women’s and Quad Division, and will include six events: men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, women’s doubles, quad singles and quad doubles. Wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis, except that the ball can bounce twice.
 
This is the first time that the world’s top seven ranked men’s and women’s wheelchair players (according to the July 18 ITF Rankings) will all enter the tournament. The top three ranked quad players also will all compete (world No. 3 Johan Andersson recently retired). Additionally, one wild card was selected on both the men’s, women’s, and quad sides. The total purse for the event will be $120,000, a $20,000 increase in prize money over last year.
 
Men Rank**  Women Rank**  Quad Rank**
Shingo Kunieka (JPN)  1 Esther Vergeer (NED)  1 David Wagner (USA)  1
Maikel Scheffers (NED)  2 Jiske Griffioen (NED) 2 Peter Norfolk (GBR) 2
Stephane Houdet (FRA)  3 Daniela Di Toro (AUS) 3 Noam Gershony (ISR)  4
Nicolas Peifer (FRA) 4 Aniek van Koot (NED) 4 WC - Nick Taylor (USA) 6
Robin Ammerlann (NED) 5 Marjolein Buis (NED) 5    
Ronald Vink (NED) 6 Sharon Walraven (NED)  6    
Stefan Olsson (SWE) 7 Annick Sevanans (BEL) 7    
WC - Stephen Welch (USA)  24 WC - Emmy Kaiser (USA)   23    
 
**ITF Ranking (7/18/11)
 
This year’s field will feature the five-time and defending women’s singles champion Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands, who will look to continue her unbeaten streak of more than 420 consecutive match wins. The field also will include defending men’s singles champion Shingo Kunieda of Japan, who holds a 25-1 singles record this year, and two-time quad singles champion Peter Norfolk of Great Britain. Noam Gershony of Israel, and Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands, will both be making their US Open debuts in the quad draw and women’s draw, respectively. To classify as a quad competitor, a player must have substantial loss of function in one or both lower extremities and one or both upper extremities.
 
The United States will be represented in singles and doubles by the two-time Paralympic Quad doubles gold medalists David Wagner (Hillsboro, Ore.) and Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kan.). Wagner is the defending US Open Quad singles champion and looking to win his third consecutive Grand Slam Quad singles title. Other Americans include 21-year-old Emmy Kaiser (Fort Mitchell, Ky.), the No. 1 American woman player, who will compete in the women’s singles and doubles events, and 39-year-old former world No. 1 Stephen Welch (Southlake, Texas), a four-time Paralympian and 1996 doubles gold medalist, who will compete in the men’s singles and doubles. Welch, Kaiser, and Taylor all received wild cards into the tournament.
 
The USTA was officially designated by the USOC as the national governing body for the Paralympic sport of wheelchair tennis in June 2002, becoming the first Olympic national governing body to earn this recognition. As the national governing body for wheelchair tennis, the USTA manages wheelchair tennis in the United States, including the development of local programming, the sanctioning of tournaments, overseeing wheelchair rankings, creating and managing a High Performance program for developing elite disabled athletes, and selecting teams to compete internationally for the United States.
 
 
 

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