In a press release this afternoon, ITF has announced the name of all 100 Paralympic Tennis players who’ll compete at the Olympic Tennis Centre in Barra Olympic Park on 9-16 September during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Eight days of competition in September will see players from 29 countries competing in singles and doubles in men’s, women’s and quad categories for the medals
The event wise distribution of the players has men’s singles (52 players), women’s singles (32 players) and quad singles (16 players). The quad event is open to both men and women.
Places have been awarded by direct acceptances based on the ITF wheelchair world rankings of 23 May 2016, and Bipartite Commission Invitation places awarded by the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Committee and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Four Doubles World Ranking Allocation places have been awarded in the men’s doubles to ensure the strongest possible competition, with these players also receiving entry into the singles.
The men’s and women’s winners of the 2014 Asian Para Games and the 2015 Para PanAm Games have also received a direct entry.
Shingo Kunieda of Japan will defend his men’s title in a strong field that also includes world No. 1 and London 2012 silver medalist Stephane Houdet of France. Australian Open champion Gordon Reid of Great Britain, and Roland Garros champion Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina are among the other leading names.
The women’s singles is guaranteed a new champion following the retirement of four-time Paralympic singles gold medalist Esther Vergeer of Netherlands. World No. 1 Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot will look to continue the Dutch dominance of the event, having won bronze and silver respectively at London 2012. US Open champion Jordanne Whiley of Great Britain, and Roland Garros champion Marjolein Buis of Netherlands are also among the entries.
There will be a new winner of the quad singles, with world No. 1 Dylan Alcott of Australia heading the entries. American David Wagner, a three-time Paralympic singles medalist, will also be bidding for gold, alongside his compatriot and London 2012 bronze medalist Nick Taylor, with whom he has won three consecutive Paralympic men’s doubles titles.
ITF President David Haggerty said: “Following the most successful Paralympic Tennis Event in history at London 2012, I am confident that this year’s event will be an equally memorable competition. Wheelchair tennis has become one of the most popular Paralympic sports thanks to its outstanding athletes and great personalities, and we are looking forward to a great atmosphere and some fierce competition.”