Font size bigger Font size smaller
Paralympic Sports: Wheelchair Tennis

Sport Week: History of wheelchair tennis

The sport will make its seventh Paralympic Games appearance. 07 Apr 2016
Imagen
Esther Vergeer of Netherlands with her gold medal after defeating Aniek Van Koot of Netherlands in the final of the Women's singles match in the Wheelchair Tennis at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Esther Vergeer of Netherlands with her gold medal after defeating Aniek Van Koot of Netherlands in the final of the Women's singles match in the Wheelchair Tennis at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

ⒸGetty Images
By Andrew Cross | For the IPC

Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on paralympic.org. Every week a new sport will be featured and the series will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.

Wheelchair tennis has been part of the Paralympics since 1992 but was first seen in Seoul in 1988.

The sport was included in the 1988 Paralympic Games as a test event demonstrated by four men and women.

Then in Barcelona four years later, wheelchair tennis became a full medal sport. The USA’s Randy Snow took gold in the singles and doubles in the men’s division, whilst Monique van den Bosch from Netherlands replicated Snow’s accomplishments in the women’s competitions.

At Athens in 2004, the quad division, both singles and doubles, were introduced to the Paralympics for the first time. British star Peter Norfolk claimed the inaugural singles gold medal, before the US duo of David Wagner and Nick Taylor took the doubles title.

The Beijing 2008 Paralympics saw the start of Shingo Kunieda’s dominance in the men’s singles in the Paralympics. The Japanese star claimed the singles gold medal without losing a set, before completing the same achievement four years later in London, once again, without losing a set.

Kunieda had already claimed the doubles gold medal in 2004 and followed up with bronze in Beijing in 2008. Frenchmen Stephane Houdet and Michael Jeremiasz won the men’s doubles gold medal.

In the women’s division, the legendary Esther Vergeer blazed through all the Paralympics from Sydney 2000 through to London 2012. The unforgettable Dutch star won the singles gold medal four consecutive times before her retirement in 2013 and also won three women’s doubles gold medals, while winning silver in the doubles in Beijing in 2008

The 34-year-old retired after the most successful Paralympics to date, in London. A total of 112 wheelchair tennis athletes took part from 31 countries in a brilliant week at the Eton Manor tennis centre, which was the only purpose-built Paralympic venue for the 2012 Games.

___

Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.