Latest Wheelchair Tennis News (March 2013)
Wheelchair tennis is among the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world and has grown exponentially since 1992 when there were 11 annual tournaments. At the time of writing this report, there are 170 official wheelchair tennis tournaments globally and it’s likely that the 200 mark will be broken sooner rather than later. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) are the global governing body and help promote the game worldwide. With an increasingly busy schedule, there is much to report and we focus on recent tournaments and events.
Jura Indoors is an ITF 3 Series event and the 2013 event was held from 28 February to 3 March in Switzerland. The total prize fund was $10,000 and it featured 16 men and 12 women in their respective main draws. Tom Egberink of Holland defeated Martin Legner of Austria 6-2, 6-2 in the men’s final while Germany’s Katherina Kruger defeated her compatriot Bianca Osterer 6-0, 7-5 in the women’s final.
The Quito Open is an ITF Futures Series event and was held from 28 February to 3 March in Ecuador. Efrain Cabrera was the hometown hero during this event as he beat fellow Ecuadoran Edmundo Merizalde 6-2, 6-1 in the men’s final. Pilar Jauregui of Peru was the female champion as she defeated Alexandra Meza of Ecuador 6-2, 6-0 in the final.
The wheelchair tennis landscape was dominated by European qualification for the BNP Paribas World Team Cup. It took place from 1-5 March in Antalya, Turkey and featured many of the world’s best players as they aimed to do their nations proud. In the men’s event, #4 seeds Greece defeated #3 seeds Israel 2-1 in the final. Spain defeated #4 seeds Russia 2-1 in the women’s final with an exciting singles rubber match finishing off a great tournament. Greece and Spain have now gained qualification to the prestigious World Team Cup finals.
Qualification in the Americas for the World Team Cup will take place from 13-16 March in the United States. The Pensacola Open is an ITF 1 Series event that features 32 entrants in the male singles section and 24 competitors in the female section. The tournament begins on March 13 and lasts until March 17. It promises to be a huge event with a total prize fund of $25,000 up for grabs so expect several of the globe’s best players to show up and treat the crowd to a top class exhibition of tennis.
There are wheelchair tennis tournaments taking place virtually every week worldwide and we would urge you to visit the ITF online for updated information.
Image license: Wimbledon.com (view source)