Photo: Takeo TanumaShingo Kunieda (JPN)
World No. 1s Yui Kamiji (JPN), Shingo Kunieda (JPN) and David Wagner (USA) headline the field of 20 players for the 2014 US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour and the final Grand Slam of the year, which takes place in New York on 4-7 September.
The top seven ranked players as of the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Rankings of 21 July 2014, plus one wildcard, make up the eight players for the men's and women's events. The top three ranked players as of 21 July, plus one wild card, make up the four players for the quad event.
The announcement of the field today by the USTA confirms Frenchman Michael Jeremiasz as the recipient of the wild card for the men's event, South Africa's Kgothatso Montjane as the recipient of the wild card for the women's event and USA's Nick Taylor as the wild card for the quad event.
In the women’s field, 20-year-old will Kamiji will look to win her first US Open after becoming the world No. 1 player in both singles and doubles this year.
Kamiji, who also became the top-ranked junior player in 2011, won her first women's singles Grand Slam title at Roland Garros and the women's doubles titles with Brit Jordanne Whiley at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year, meaning that she and Whiley will be vying for the Grand Slam in women's doubles events.
Dutch defending singles and doubles champion Aniek Van Koot, 23, will bid for her second consecutive US Open title after winning in both Melbourne and New York last season en route to becoming ITF World Champion for the first time.
Van Koot and her countrywoman Jiske Griffioen also completed the women's doubles Grand Slam in 2013.
Kunieda, 30, will look to win his fifth US Open singles title since 2007. Fellow Japanese player Takuya Miki, 25, will be the only player in all three fields making a US Open debut this year, while French world No. 2 Stephane Houdet will bid to retain the men's singles title he won after beating Kunieda in the 2013 final.
The United States will be represented by the three-time Paralympic quad doubles gold medallists Wagner and Taylor in the quad singles and doubles. Wagner will be looking to win his third US Open quad singles titles after back-to-back crowns in 2010 and 2011.
Wagner lost to South Africa’s Lucas Sithole in three sets in the 2013 quad singles final as Sithole made history by becoming the first African player to win a wheelchair tennis title at a Grand Slam tournament.
Wagner and Taylor will look to put their names on the quad doubles trophy for a sixth time, bring the only team ever to hoist that trophy.
(Figures in brackets denote world ranking at cut-off date of 21 July 2014)
|Shingo Kunieda (JPN) (1)
||Yui Kamiji (JPN) (1)
|Stephane Houdet (FRA) (2)
||Aniek van Koot (NED) (2)
|Gordon Reid (GBR) (3)
||Sabine Ellerbrock (GER) (3)
|Gustavo Fernandez (ARG) (4)
||Jiske Griffioen (NED) (4)
|Joachim Gerard (BEL) (5)
||Jordanne Whiley (GBR) (5)
|Maikel Scheffers (NED) (6)
||Marjolein Buis (NED) (6)
|Takuya Miki (JPN) (7)
||Sharon Walraven (NED) (7)
|Michael Jeremiasz (FRA) (10) (WC)
||Kgothatso Montjane (RSA) (8) (WC)
|David Wagner (USA) (1)
|Lucas Sithole (RSA) (2)
|Andy Lapthorne (GBR) (3)
|Nick Taylor (USA) (6) (WC)