Photo: Paul ZimmerShingo Kunieda (JPN)
NEC Corporation announced today that 16 of the world’s top wheelchair tennis players will participate in the Roland Garros wheelchair tennis event in Paris on 6-8 June, 2012. The event is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
Participants include defending champions and world No. 1 ranked players Maikel Scheffers and Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands. Scheffers won his first Grand Slam title ar Roland Garros in 2011 after beating Japan’s defending Roland Garros champion and four-time ITF World Champion Shingo Kunieda in the semifinals.
Kunieda is among the participants again this year, while world No. 7 Yui Kamiji of Japan, also currently the world No. 1 junior femalel, will be among the challengers to Vergeer in the women’s singles.
Scheffers was named ITF Wheelchair Tennis World Champion for the first time in 2011, while Vergeer was named ITF World Champion for the 12th time. Both players will receive their trophies at the 2012 ITF World Champions Dinner, held in Paris on 5 June.
The NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, organized by the ITF and sponsored by NEC, has one of the most advanced and far-reaching tournament calendars and ranking systems in international disability sport. The Tour includes wheelchair tennis events at all four Grand Slams, with total prize money of more than one million US dollars.
The 2012 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour started on January 5, 2012, with the Queensland Open in Australia. This year, the NEC Tour consists of 173 tournaments in 45 countries.
The NEC Wheelchair Tennis Rankings are updated weekly by the ITF, with over 600 men, 200 women and 75 quad players from over 50 countries featured on the current wheelchair world rankings.
The NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour has events at a variety of levels, from the ITF Futures Series through to the four Grand Slam events.
Following October’s USTA Wheelchair Tennis Championships, the last of six ITF Super Series tournaments played during the year, the top eight men’s and women’s players and top four quad players on the rankings qualify for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in Belgium in November.
The NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour is part of the NEC Make-a-Difference Drive of volunteer opportunities for NEC employees. NEC members volunteer for the Tour in such positions as linespeople, ballpersons and interpreters.
Looking forward, NEC will continue to develop its role in the Wheelchair Tennis Tour as part of becoming a leading global company that leverages the power of innovation to realise an information society friendly to people and the earth.