Photo: Gregory PicoutShingo Kunieda (JPN)
The BNP Paribas Open de France, the fourth Super Series event on the 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, gets underway in Antony, Paris on Tuesday, featuring a field that includes nine of this week’s world’s top 10 ranked men’s singles players, six of the world’s top 10 women and four of the world’s top 10 ranked quad singles players.
World No. 1 players Stephane Houdet of France returns to Paris three weeks after beating world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan for the second successive year in the final at Roland Garros, but Kunieda is the defending champion at this week’s tournament after he and Houdet contested another thrilling final last year.
Meanwhile, world No. 3 Maikel Scheffers and world No. 6 Joachim Gerard arrive in Paris on the back of reaching the men’s final at the last Super Series event on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, the Japan Open.
In the women’s singles van Koot’s reign as world No. 1 ranking could come under threat for the first time since she move into the top spot at the end of January, after Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock won her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros. Ellerbrock will be eyeing an improvement on her semifinal berth at the BNP Paribas Open de France in 2012.
But among the challengers that van Koot and Ellerbrock will have to watch out for is Japan’s Yui Kamiji. Kamiji won her first Super Series title at the Japan Open for the first of three victories in her four tournaments in the last month, a sequence that has helped her achieve another career high ranking at No. 5 this week.
World No. 1 David Wagner heads a strong North American challenge in the quad singles that includes Wagner’s fellow American Greg Hasterok and Canada’s Sarah Hunter. Swedish second seed and world No. 7 Anders Hard leads the European challenge in the quad singles.
BNP Paribas Open de France Draws and Results
Order of Play - Tuesday, 25 June 2013