Photo: Steve WylieShingo Kunieda (JPN)
Tickets have gone on sale today for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, the year-end singles championship for one of the most popular spectator sports at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Tickets go on sale to the public to coincide with National Paralympic Day in Great Britain, which sees wheelchair tennis among the sports on show in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The Tennis Foundation is preparing to welcome some of the biggest stars of the 2012 Games back to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on 26-30 November 2014 for one of the first major disability sport events in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The 2014 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters forms part of UK Sport’s prestigious Gold Event Series, and it will see 20 of the world’s leading players return to the site of the 2012 Paralympic Tennis Event.
The ITF’s annual showpiece wheelchair tennis event will feature the top eight men’s and women’s singles players and the top four quad players as of the ITF Wheelehchair Tennis Rankings of 6 October.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said:
“Wheelchair tennis was a smash hit at the Paralympic Games in 2012 and it is exciting to see the sport returning to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to inspire us all once again. I am sure thousands of fans will be trying to net themselves tickets to watch some of the world’s top players serve up an absolute treat in this superb competition.”
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Tennis Foundation Trustee, added:
"The players at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters will be the best in the world and the event will be a great showcase for Paralympic sport. This is a great opportunity for us to continue to build on the interest generated by the 2012 Games and inspire even more disabled people to play a version of tennis to suit them."
Jordanne Whiley, three-time Grand Slam doubles champion in 2014, is on course to be one of the top eight players to qualify and is relishing the opportunity to return to the Paralympic venue.
"I can't wait to go back and play in the Olympic Park. Winning the bronze medal with Lucy (Shuker) in front of the home crowd is one of the highlights of my career, so I'm hoping I'll get to experience something like that again," she said.
"When I won at Wimbledon this year the response was amazing so I know people in London love wheelchair tennis and will hopefully come down and give us some great support."
Current world No. 1 and reigning NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champion Shingo Kunieda, who became the first player to win back-to-back Paralympic men’s singles titles with his victory at London 2012, is also looking forward to the chance to get back on court in London.
"I always love playing in Great Britain at the British Open Super Series in Nottingham and the Paralympic courts have lots of happy memories for me so very I'm excited to come back in November for the Masters," he said.
With the Tennis Foundation awarded the rights to host the event in London for three years from 2014, there will be plenty of opportunities for spectators to see the world's best players in action with tickets starting from just £10 and a free child's ticket with every adult ticket purchased.
Schools and local groups will also be able to attend the event and try tennis themselves through a dedicated community engagement programme to ensure the legacy of London 2012 continues.
Tickets for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters can be purchased through See Tickets http://wheelchairtennis.seetickets.com