Wheelchair tennis: 5 key moments from 2017

We look back on the most memorable moments this year 31 Dec 2017
a male wheelchair tennis player holds up a trophy

David Wagner dominated the quad division in 2017

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1. China upset the Netherlands at World Team Cup

In one of the biggest surprises ever, the all-conquering and 29-time champions Netherlands lost to China 2-0 in the women’s final of the 2017 BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Sardinia, Italy, last May. Hui Min Huang defeated world No. 5 Aniek van Koot 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(5), and then Zhenzhen Zhu’s beat world No. 3 Diede de Groot 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.

2. Gustavo Fernandez reaches world No.1

The 23-year-old became the first Latin American player to become wheelchair tennis world No.1, as well as the first Argentinian player in either able-bodied or wheelchair tennis to top the rankings. In 2017, Fernandez won seven titles including the Australian Open, his second Grand Slam after winning the French Open in 2016.

3. Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch inducted into Hall of Fame

The three-time Paralympic gold medallist became the fifth wheelchair tennis player to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The Dutch player, who also has four International Tennis Federations (ITF) world titles, joins USA’s Brad Parks and Randy Snow, the Netherlands’ Chantal Vandierendock and Australia’s David Hall.

4. Michael Jeremiasz makes worldwide headlines

French Paralympic champion Michael Jeremiasz, who won the doubles at Beijing 2008, became the centre of attention around the world thanks to one spectacular photograph which showcases him crowd-surfing with his arms wide open. “I felt like I was literally floating on all these people. My friends now call me Jesus!”

5. David Wagner becomes inaugural quad world champion

The US player ended 2017 as world No.1 for the eighth time in his career after capturing his sixth Grand Slam title at the US Open before beating Andy Lapthorne to win the year-end NEC Masters and be crowned world champion. He won a total of 12 tournaments during the year.

*Editor's note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games.

On 6 September 2017, the IPC put in place a limited interim measure for athletes to compete as neutrals in qualification events across four World Para sports for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. These sports are alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country and snowboard.

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