2018 in Review: Wheelchair tennis

Look back at the best moments of the year 19 Dec 2018
female wheelchair tennis player Diede de Groot holds up a trophy and kisses it

Diede de Groot won three Grand Slam singles titles on her way to dominating 2018

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By Andrew Cross | For the IPC

As the 2018 wheelchair tennis season came to a close, check out six of the best moments throughout the season.

Diede the Great

Diede de Groot is already on her way to becoming one of the best female wheelchair tennis players of all time after a stellar 2018.

The Dutchwoman dominated the circuit, winning six Grand Slams, including three singles titles at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. She also became the first woman to win the Wimbledon wheelchair tennis singles and doubles title in the same year.

Quads to grace Wimbledon

Quad singles and doubles will grace the grass courts from 2019, following an exhibition match at The All England Lawn Tennis Club during the 2018 Wimbledon Championships.

Dylan Alcott, Andy Lapthorne, Lucas Sithole and David Wagner entertained the crowds and showcased their skills. They will now be able to do that as part of the Grand Slam next summer.

This means the quad division will now be present at three Grand Slams: Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Kunieda returns

Shingo Kunieda claimed two Grand Slam singles title this season as he returned to the men’s world No. 1 position in the rankings following injury.

The Japanese and multi-Grand Slam winning star had not won a singles Grand Slam title since September 2015 at the US Open but put an end to the trophy drought with victories at the Australian Open and Roland Garros.

Dominant Dutch

The Netherlands produce the best women wheelchair tennis players; so when those players come together for the World Team Cup, they tend to win. This year was no exception, but only just.

On home soil they faced China, with Hui Min Huang beating Aniek van Koot 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to hand the opening advantage to the Asian team. The second rubber saw de Groot battling past Zhenzhen Zhu.

In the doubles, Dutch duo de Groot and van Koot raced into the lead with a 6-0 first set, but Chinese pair of Zhenzhen and Huang fought back to claim the second 6-3. With a set each, the final set tiebreak was nip-and-tuck.

Netherlands had to save two match points before surging ahead to clinch the final set 12-10, sealing a 6-0, 3-6, 12-10 victory for their 30th World Team Cup title in 33 years.

Wimbledon love for Olsson

Stefan Olsson continued his love affair with The All England Lawn Tennis Club when he lifted his second men’s Wimbledon singles title in the summer.

The Swede became a back-to-back winner at SW19, the first male player to achieve the feat following the introduction of the sport to the Grand Slam in the summer of 2016.

Since his lost in debut men’s singles wheelchair tennis final in 2016, Olsson has not lost a match on the hallowed turf.

Taylor and Wagner Masters once again

Twelve months from taking their unprecedented tally of quad Masters titles into double figures, the US duo of Nick Taylor and David Wagner were shining once again at the season-ending tournament in the Netherlands.

They battled past the British pair of Antony Cotterill and Andy Lapthorne 6-4, 7-6(6) for the second time in the week, following victory in the round robin stage, to lift their 11th quad doubles Masters title.