The USTA announced the field for the 2018 US Open Wheelchair Competition. The event, in its 11th year, will be held Sept. 6-9 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
The 2018 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.
The wheelchair competition was first added to the US Open back in 2005, with only men’s and women’s singles champions being crowned. One of the all-time great wheelchair athletes, the Netherlands’ Esther Vergeer, who won 470 consecutive matches before retiring with the streak intact, won the inaugural women’s event, with Robin Ammerlaan, also of the Netherlands, winning the first men’s title.
This year’s field will feature 18 of the Top 20 wheelchair tennis athletes from around the globe, including the Top 8 men, Top 7 women and Top 3 quad players. One wild card also will be awarded for each event. Players were selected based on their ITF rankings as of July 16.
In the women’s field, top seed Diede de Groot of the Netherlands will look to avenge her loss in the final last year to Yui Kamiji of Japan. Kamiji will be looking to repeat and claim her second US Open wheelchair title. Back for the second consecutive year will be 27-year-old American Dana Mathewson, of San Diego. Mathewson made a name for herself last year when she teamed with 2013 women’s singles champion Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands for a runners-up finish in the doubles competition.
On the men’s side, World No.1 and five-time US Open Champion Shingo Kunieda of Japan will be looking to win his sixth US Open Wheelchair Competition singles title since 2007 in a very evenly matched field. World No. 4 and reigning men’s singles champion Stephane Houdet will be seeking his third title. Since 2007, no one has been able to take the title away from either Kunieda or Houdet.
In the quad division, the United States will be once again be represented by three-time US Open Wheelchair Competition quad singles champion and eight-time finalist David Wagner (Chula Vista, Calif.). Bryan Barten of Hart, Mich., will be back for his second US Open Wheelchair Competition in the quad event. In doubles, Wagner will look to continue his dominance in the event by putting his name on the trophy for the ninth time.
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 U.S., including the development of local programming, the sanctioning of tournaments, overseeing rankings, creating and managing a high performance program for developing elite disabled athletes and selecting teams to compete internationally for the United States.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 655,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world, and launched the US Open Series, linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships in addition to supporting tennis and education programs nationwide to benefit under-resourced youth through the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network.For more information about the USTA, go to USTA.com or follow the official accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.