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Wheelchair Tennis

Wheelchair Tennis

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Wheelchair tennis is one of the forms of tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 adapted for those who have disabilities in their lower bodies. The size of courts, balls, and rackets are same, but there are two major differences from pedestrian tennis; they use specially designed wheelchair
Wheelchair
A wheelchair is a chair with wheels, designed to be a replacement for walking. The device comes in variations where it is propelled by motors or by the seated occupant turning the rear wheels by hand. Often there are handles behind the seat for someone else to do the pushing...

s and the ball may bounce up to two times. The second bounce may also occur outside of the field.

This is one of the official Paralympic sports and also played at Grand Slam
Grand Slam (tennis)
The four Major tennis tournaments, also called the Slams, are the most important tennis events of the year in terms of world tour ranking points, tradition, prize-money awarded, strength and size of player field, and public attention. They are the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and...

s. There are three categories; Men, Ladies, and Quads and each category has singles and doubles tournaments. Quads is the category for those with quadriplegia
Quadriplegia
Tetraplegia, also known as quadriplegia, is paralysis caused by illness or injury to a human that results in the partial or total loss of use of all their limbs and torso; paraplegia is similar but does not affect the arms...

 and it is sometimes called Mixed especially at Paralympic Games. Quads players can hold rackets taped to the hand and use electric-powered wheelchairs.

History


Wheelchair tennis got started in 1976 thanks to the efforts of Brad Parks who is effectively the creator of competitive wheelchair tennis. Since then, much effort has been put into the promotion of the sport in order to get rid of the therapy image that still clings to many sports for people with disabilities today.

The sport became popular and grew worldwide so fast that it was introduced to Paralympic games
Paralympic Games
The Paralympic Games are a major international multi-sport event where athletes with a physical disability compete; this includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and Cerebral Palsy. There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which are held immediately following their...

 for the first time at the 1988 Summer Paralympics
1988 Summer Paralympics
The 1988 Summer Paralympics were the first Paralympics in 24 years that take place in the same city as the Olympic Games. They took place in Seoul, South Korea. This was the first time the term "Paralympic" came into official use.- Sports :...

 in Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

 as a demonstration event. It was the 1992 Summer Paralympics
1992 Summer Paralympics
The 1992 Summer Paralympics were the ninth Paralympic Games to be held. They were held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.- Sports :The games consisted of 487 events spread over fifteen sports. Powerlifting and weightlifting were considered to be a single sport...

 in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 that wheelchair tennis acquired the status of a full-fledged competition. The 2000 Summer Paralympics
2000 Summer Paralympics
The 2000 Paralympic Games were held in Sydney, Australia, from 18 October to 29 October. The eleventh Summer Paralympic Games, an estimated 3800 athletes took part in the Sydney programme. They commenced with the opening ceremony on 18 October 2000...

 in Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

 have boosted public awareness immensely and it led to the introduction of this sport to Grand Slams of pedestrian tennis.

Major Tournaments


International tournaments are organized by International Tennis Federation
International Tennis Federation
The International Tennis Federation is the governing body of world tennis, made up of 205 national tennis associations.It was established as the International Lawn Tennis Federation by 12 national associations meeting at a conference in Paris, France on 1 March 1913...

 as a NEC
NEC
, a Japanese multinational IT company, has its headquarters in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. NEC, part of the Sumitomo Group, provides information technology and network solutions to business enterprises, communications services providers and government....

 Wheelchair Tennis Tour. In wheelchair tennis there are four top-ranked major tournaments called Super Series (SS); Australian Open (Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

), British Open (Nottingham
Nottingham
Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

), Japan Open (Iizuka
Iizuka, Fukuoka
is a city located at the confluence of the Honami and Onga rivers in central Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.Iizuka was an important post-station on the Nagasaki Kaidō during the Edo Era. As Japan industrialised, Iizuka became the center of the most productive coal fields in Japan located throughout the...

), and US Open (St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

). World Team Cup is an international team event held annually. To wrap up the season, they have NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters (singles event) and Camozzi Doubles Masters tournaments which only world top-ranked players can compete. In addition, Grand Slams, Australian Open
Australian Open
The Australian Open is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament held in the southern hemisphere. The tournament was held for the first time in 1905 and was last contested on grass in 1987. Since 1972 the Australian Open has been held in Melbourne, Victoria. In 1988, the tournament became a hard court...

, Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon , is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, considered by many to be the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London since 1877. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the other three Majors...

, Roland Garros, and US Open have each created wheelchair tennis category. It is also played at Paralympic Games and FESPIC games as well.

Each year Wheelchair Tennis Masters
Wheelchair Tennis Masters
The Wheelchair Tennis Masters for singles was initiated in 1994 for the players who have shown professionalism and dedication to the sport. This masters is also an opportunity to show the public and the media that wheelchair tennis is a sport at a high level and great to watch.In 2000 the first...

 are held for single and double. The top eight men and women based on the ranking after the US Open at the end of the year compete to be the champion of the year.

The Netherlands has dominated numerous victories at major tournaments including Paralympic Games and Grand Slams. It has many top players of this sport such as Robin Ammerlaan
Robin Ammerlaan
Robin Ammerlaan is a professional, former world number one in singles and doubles, wheelchair tennis player from the Netherlands. Ammerlaan is also champion of many grand slam titles since 2000. The right-handed player's favorite surface is carpet, and he is coached by Gert Bolk. His wheelchair is...

, Esther Vergeer
Esther Vergeer
Esther Vergeer is a Dutch wheelchair tennis player. Combining singles and doubles, she has won 39 Grand Slams, 22 year-end championships and 5 Paralympics titles. Vergeer has been the world number one wheel chair tennis player since 1999. In singles, she has not been beaten since January 2003 and...

, and Korie Homan
Korie Homan
Korie Homan is a Dutch wheelchair tennis player. Homan won the gold medal in women's doubles at the 2008 Paralympics. In 2009 she completed the doubles Grand Slam by winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US titles with Esther Vergeer. In addition Homan has also had success in Grand Slams...

.

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