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2014 Wheelchair Competition field full of elite talent

By Nicholas J. Walz
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The 2014 US Open Wheelchair Competition, which begins on Thursday, Sept. 4, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, will feature the elites of wheelchair tennis facing off during four action-packed days in New York.

Participants in three divisions of play – men’s, women’s and quad – will compete in 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.

Men's:
No. 1 - Shingo Kunieda (JPN)
No. 2 - Stephane Houdet (FRA)*
No. 3 - Gordon Reid (GBR)
No. 4 - Gustavo Fernandez (ARG)
No. 5 - Joachim Gerard (BEL)
No. 6 - Maikel Scheffers (NED)
No. 8 - Nicolas Peifer (FRA)
WC - No 10 Michael Jeremiasz (FRA)

Women's:
No. 1 - Yui Kamiji (JPN)
No. 2 - Aniek Van Koot (NED)*
No. 3 - Sabine Ellerbrock (GER)
No. 4 - Jiske Griffioen (NED)
No. 5 - Jordanne Whiley (GBR)
No. 6 - Marjolein Buis (NED)
No. 7 - Sharon Walraven (NED)
WC - No. 8 Kgothatso Montjane (RSA)

Quad:
No. 1 - David Wagner (USA)
No. 2 - Lucas Sithole (RSA)*
No. 3 - Andrew Lapthorne (GBR)
WC - No. 7 Nick Taylor (USA)

*denotes defending singles champion

 
The United States will be represented by the three-time Paralympic Quad doubles gold medalists David Wagner (Chula Vista, Calif.) and Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kan.) in the quad singles and doubles division. Wagner will be looking to win his third US Open quad singles title and rebound from a year ago, when he lost to South Africa’s Lucas Sithole last year in three sets. In doubles, Wagner and Taylor will look to put their names on the doubles trophy for a sixth time. They are the only team ever to hoist that crown.
 
In the women’s field, top seed Yui Kamiji, 20, of Japan, will look to win her first US Open after becoming the No. 1 player in the world this year. Kamiji, who was the top-ranked junior player in 2011, won the singles title at the French Open and doubles titles at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year, meaning that she will be vying for the Grand Slam in doubles. Defending singles and doubles champion Aniek Van Koot, 23, of the Netherlands, will look to win her second consecutive US Open title after taking the reigns from six-time US Open Wheelchair Competition singles champion Esther Vergeer, who retired in 2012.
 
On the men’s side, world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda, 30, also of Japan, will look to win his fifth Wheelchair Competition singles title since 2007 and dethrone reigning champion Stephane Houdet, 43, of France.
 
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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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