The USTA has announced the field for the 2017 US Open Wheelchair Competition. The event, in its 10th year, will be held Sept. 7-10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The competition will be returning to Queens after a year’s hiatus, the result of last year’s Paralympic Games in Rio.
The 2017 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 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 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 eight men, top seven women and top three quads. One wild card also will be awarded for each event. Players were selected based on their ITF rankings as of July 17. The total purse for the event will be $200,000.
(1) Gustavo Fernandez (ARG)
(2) Gordon Reid (GBR)
(3) Stéphane Houdet (FRA)
(4) Alfie Hewett (GBR)
(5) Joachim Gerard (BEL)
(6) Nicolas Peifer (FRA)
(7) Stefan Olsson (SWE)
(8) Shingo Kunieda (JPN) (WC)
(1) Yui Kamiji (JPN)
(2) Jiske Griffioen (NED)
(3) Deide De Groot (NED)
(4) Sabine Ellerbrock (GER)
(5) Aniek van Koot (NED)
(6) Marjolein Buis (NED)
(7) Lucy Shuker (GBR)
(12) Dana Mathewson (USA) (WC)
(1) David Wagner (USA)
(2) Dylan Alcott (AUS)
(3) Andy Lapthorne (GBR)
(9) Bryan Barten (USA) (WC)
**ITF Ranking (7/17/17)
In the women’s field, top seed Yui Kamiji of Japan will look to reclaim her US Open wheelchair title from 2014 after losing to doubles partner Jordanne Whiley, of Great Britain in the 2015 final. 2013 women’s singles champion Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands is also entered in this year’s field. Meantime, the defending doubles championship team of Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot from the Netherlands will look for the back-to-back titles. Competing for the first time in the field will be 27-year-old American Dana Mathewson, of San Diego.
On the men’s side, five-time US Open Champion Shingo Kunieda of Japan, who received the wild-card spot, will look to win his sixth US Open Wheelchair Competition singles title since 2007 as he returns from injury. World No. 1 Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina will be looking to win his first title but will have to navigate a stacked field that includes 2013 men’s singles champion Stephane Houdet from France and 2015 doubles winner Gordon Reid of Great Britain.
In the quad division, the United States will be once again be represented by two-time US Open Wheelchair Competition quad singles champion and seven-time finalist David Wagner (Chula Vista, Calif.). Most recently, Wagner fell in a tight three-setter in the 2015 final to Australia’s Dylan Alcott, who will be back to defend his title in 2017. In doubles, Wagner will look to continue his dominance in the event by putting his names on the trophy for an eighth time, but this time with a new partner, Bryan Barten of Hart, Mich., who will be making his US Open Wheelchair Competition debut. Wagner and Nick Taylor have been the only team to win the quad doubles title since the inaugural event in 2007.
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 wheelchair rankings, creating and managing a High Performance program for developing elite disabled athletes, and selecting teams to compete internationally for the United States.
Twenty years ago, the US Open was transformed by the introduction of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The centerpiece of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Arthur Ashe Stadium provided the game’s greats – and its greatest fans – with a stage unmatched in the sport. Boasting a capacity of more than 23,000, Arthur Ashe Stadium is the largest tennis-only stadium in the world, allowing the Open to welcome more than half a million more fans annually than when its namesake won the men’s singles championship in 1968. Best of all, the stadium has grown with the times. In 2016, it added a retractable roof, banishing rain delays to the historical record and ensuring that US Open attendees could continue to experience the excitement of US Open tennis – regardless of the weather. Today, Arthur Ashe Stadium provides the ultimate showcase for the world’s finest players to complete the toughest two weeks in tennis.
US Open tickets can be purchased: at USOpen.org; by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX and at all Ticketmaster outlets.
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 715,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest-attended annual sporting event 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.