Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis

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Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis

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Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis
Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis
Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis
Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis takes place at Eton Manor
Olympic Park, Eton Manor

© London 2012

This Paralympic sport has grown dramatically in popularity since its invention in 1976 by Brad Parks, who had been injured in a skiing competition. It is now a major part of all four Grand Slam Tennis tournaments and comes to the Olympic Park's Eton Manor this September.

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What is Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis?


The London 2012 Wheelchair Tennis events take place at Eton Manor in the north of the Olympic Park from Saturday 1st September to Saturday 8th September. Wheelchair Tennis has snowballed since its invention back in the mid '70s and is now fully integrated into all four Grand Slam Tennis annual competitions. The big rule change from regular Tennis is that the ball is allowed to bounce twice, with only the first bounce having to land within the boundaries of the court. There are six medal events to be contested: men's and women's Singles, men's and women's Doubles, Quad Singles and Quad Doubles. Quad players have an impairment that affects three or more limbs, and all Quad matches are cross-gender. Wheelchair Tennis has been a part of the Paralympic schedule since the 1992 Games in Barcelona. While the Olympic Tennis competition takes part at the All-England Club in Wimbledon, the Wheelchair Tennis competition is held at Eton Manor, a redeveloped early 20th-century sports centre which has a show-case tennis court with seating for 5,000 spectators.


Who won Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis gold in Beijing in 2008?


Four years ago the Dutch team took home 6 medals, including the Women’s singles and Women’s doubles golds. GB scooped one of the other precious 6 golds (Peter Norfolk took home the Quad singles title), with France, Japan and USA taking the others. 


Do ParalympicGB have a chance of winning any Wheelchair Tennis medals?


The king of British Wheelchair Tennis, Peter Norfolk, earned himself the nickname 'The Quadfather' after his winning performance in Beijing. He will return to the court on home turf this year to defend his title. He will be joined by Andy Lapthorne, who won the Australian Open Grand Slam doubles with Norfolk two years running. Also hoping for glory is Jamie Burdekin who won a bronze medal in Beijing and has now become one of the sport's top players. In the women's tournament, British number one Lucy Shuker, runner-up at Wimbledon in the doubles in 2009, 2010 and 2012, has wheelchair tennis legend Esther Vergeer from The Netherlands, currently ranked no.1 in the world, to beat.


Where will the Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis take place?


Eton Manor (which can be seen on our handy Paralympic Venue Map) will host the Wheelchair Tennis competition, The venue is based on the grounds of the old Eton Manor Sports Club which has a long sporting history dating back to the 1990s. The permanent venue includes six outdoor and four indoor courts, all designed in a bright blue colour. The site will also be home to some of the Paralympic swimmers who will use the temporary pools constructed for training purposes.  


When is the Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis?


The Wheelchair Tennis championship runs from Saturday 1st September to Saturday 8th September at Eton Manor. The Quad Double finals are on the 5th September, the Men's Doubles and the Women's Singles finals take place on the 7th and the Men's Singles, Women's Doubles and Quad Single finals are all on the 8th September. See our Paralympics Day-by-Day Guide for the full schedule of events.


How do I get to the Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis at Eton Manor?


There are numerous options when travelling to the Olympic Park. National Rail, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and the London Overground run to Stratford and Stratford International stations, which are just a 15 minute walk away from Eton Manor. Alternatively West Ham station is a good option and is roughly a 25 minute walk from the site. Driving is not advised due to high levels of traffic and restricted parking - limited, pre-booked parking will be available for disabled spectators. The Olympic Javelin high-speed train shuttle service will take up to an estimated 25,000 travellers per hour.


How do I get tickets for Wheelchair Tennis?


Tickets can be purchased from More than 2.1 million of the 2.5 million available tickets have already been sold - organisers are claiming this could be the first Paralympics to sell out in the 52 year history of the Games. Twitter users could start following @2012TicketAlert, an unofficial feed set up during the Olympics which runs a check on the official site every three minutes and tweets every time a ticket becomes available.


What are the disability divisions for Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis?


Competing athletes must have impairments that would prevent them from playing fairly against able-bodies athletes. There are two categories in Wheelchair Tennis, Open class is for players with impairments that affect their legs but not their arms or hands. Quad class is for athletes that are impaired in both their legs and arms.  


When did Wheelchair Tennis first appear in the Paralympics?


Wheelchair Tennis appeared on the scene in Seoul in 1988 as a demonstration sport. The men’s and women’s Singles and Doubles made it to the Barcelona Games in 1992, and in 2004 the Quad competitions were played in Athens.





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