Photo: Paul ZimmerShingo Kunieda (JPN)
World No. 1s Sabine Ellerbrock (GER), Shingo Kunieda (JPN) and David Wagner (USA) headline the field of 20 players for the 2013 US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour and the final Grand Slam of the year, which takes place in New York on 5-8 September.
The top seven ranked players at the entry deadline of 22 July 2013, plus one wildcard, make up the eight players for the men's and women's events. The top three ranked players at the entry deadline, plus one wildcard, make up the four players for the quad event.
This is the first time that each of the men's, women's and quad events will feature the world’s top eight ranked men’s and women’s players and the world's top four ranked quad singles players. With the event now in its seventh year, this year’s field sees ten newcomers entered in the tournament.
Ellerbrock and world No. 2 Aniek van Koot (NED) will be the players to beat in the women's draw. Both players have won their first Grand Slam singles titles this season, van Koot having won the Australian Open while Ellerbrock emerged victorious at Roland Garros.
The retirement earlier this year of six-time US Open Wheelchair Competition women’s singles champion Esther Vergeer means that for the first time since the inception of the US Open Wheelchair Competition in 2005, there will be a new women’s champion.
In the men's field Kunieda will look to extend his reign as the men’s champion for a fifth consecutive time. Kunieda last lost at the US Open in 2006. The title was not up for grabs in 2008 and 2012 due to the scheduling of the Paralympic Games.
USA will be represented in the quad singles and doubles by the three-time Paralympic
quad doubles gold medallists David Wagner and Nick Taylor. Wagner is the defending US Open quad singles champion and will be looking to win his third consecutive US Open quad title. In quad doubles, Wagner and Taylor will look to put their names on the trophy for a fifth time and remain the only team ever to hoist the trophy.
Wheelchair tennis returns to the US Open for the first time since 2011, after the dates of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London coincided with the dates of the 2012 US Open.
The total purse for the event will be $150,000, a $30,000 increase in prize money from 2011..
”We cannot wait to host the very best wheelchair tennis has to offer," said Tournament Director David Schobel. "We expect spirited competition and believe the public is just beginning to appreciate these athletes.”
(Figures in brackets denote world ranking at cut-off date of 22 July 2013)
|Shingo Kunieda (JPN) (1)
||Sabine Ellerbrock (GER) (1)
|Stephane Houdet (FRA) (2)
||Aniek van Koot (NED) (2)
|Maikel Scheffers (NED) (3)
||Jiske Griffioen (NED) (3)
|Joachim Gerard (BEL) (4)
||Marjolein Buis (NED) (4)
|Gustavo Fernandez (ARG) (5)
||Yui Kamiji (JPN) (5)
|Gordon Reid (GBR) (6)
||Kgothatso Montjane (RSA) (6)
|Ronald Vink (NED) (7)
||Lucy Shuker (GBR) (7)
|Michael Jeremiasz (8) (WC)
||Jordanne Whiley (GBR) (8) (WC)
|David Wagner (USA) (1)
|Andy Lapthorne (GBR) (2)
|Lucas Sithole (RSA) (3)
|Nick Taylor (USA) (4) (WC)