07 Jan 2018

Entries announced for the 2018 Australian Open

News Article

Photo: Takeo TanumaKatharina Kruger (GER)

Adam Kellerman and Heath Davidson will be part of a three-strong home challenge when the Australian Open Wheelchair Tennis Event takes place at Melbourne Park from 24-27 January.

Australians Kellerman and Davidson and Germany’s Katharina Kruger have been awarded the wild cards for the men’s, quad and women’s events for first of the four Grand Slam tournaments on the 2018 UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, with the entries including defending champions Gustavo Fernandez, Yui Kamiji and Dylan Alcott.

The top seven ranked men’s and women’s players and top three quad players at the ranking cut-off plus one wild card for each event make up the 20 players who will vie for the singles and doubles titles over four days of competition at Melbourne Park.

Kellerman returns to his home Grand Slam for the first time since 2016. After taking time out from the sport following the Rio Paralympics the 27-year-old former world No. 8 won the Australian National Championships in November to earn the men’s wild card for this year’s event.

With four different players having won the four Grand Slam men’s singles titles in 2017, defending champion Fernandez is one of three previous winners in this year’s men’s field, along with 2016 champion Gordon Reid and Shingo Kunieda, who won the most recent of his eight Australian Open titles in 2015.

Kruger has been awarded the women’s wild card for the second successive year and the world No. 8, who turned 28 earlier this week, lines up alongside fellow German Sabine Ellerbrock, one of three former champions who will also contest the women’s singles. Ellerbrock, the winner in Melbourne in 2014 and 2013 champion Aniek van Koot will be among those challenging reigning champion Yui Kamiji.

Kamiji’s hopes of becoming the first women’s player to win all four Grand Slam singles titles in the same season was thwarted at Wimbledon last July when she was beaten by Ellerbrock in the semifinals and Diede de Groot went on to lift her maiden Grand Slam title.

Having made her Grand Slam tournament debut at the 2017 Australian Open de Groot is still looking for her first singles match win at Melbourne Park but begins 2018 boosted by winning last month’s NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters.

Like Kruger in the women’s field, Davidson has also been awarded the wild card for the quad events for the second successive year. Davidson again doubles the Australian challenge in the event, with Dylan Alcott also among the entries as the Rio Paralympic champion eyes a fourth successive Australian Open quad singles title.

Joining Alcott and Davidson among the entries are last month’s NEC Masters finalists David Wagner and Andy Lapthorne. While Alcott is set to attempt to win his fourth title at Melbourne Park, Wagner is also a three-time former champion and the last Australian Open quad singles winner before Alcott won the first of his three titles in 2015.

(Figures in brackets denote world ranking at cut-off date)

Men Women
Gustavo Fernandez (ARG) (1) Yui Kamiji (JPN) (1)
Alfie Hewett (GBR) (2) Diede de Groot (NED) (2)
Stephane Houdet (FRA) (3) Sabine Ellerbrock (GER) (3)
Gordon Reid (GBR) (4) Marjolein Bus (NED) (4)
Nicolas Peifer (FRA) (5) Aniek van Koot (NED) (5)
Stefan Olsson (SWE) (6) Lucy Shuker (GBR) (6)
Shingo Kunieda (JPJN) (7) Kgothatso Montjane (RSA) (7)
Adam Kellerman (AUS) (130) (WC) Katharina Kruger (GER) (8) (WC)


David Wagner (USA) (1)
Andy Lapthorne (GBR) (2)
Dylan Alcott (AUS) (3)
Heath Davidson (AUS) (5) (WC)