Wheelchair tennis players prepare for US Open Grand Slam

Japanese world number ones will be aiming for title success at Flushing Meadows 04 Sep 2014
A woman in a wheelchair hits a tennis ball as a backhand.

After making her Paralympic debut at London 2012, Japan's Yui Kamiji is steadily rising in the women's wheelchair tennis singles rankings.

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The wheelchair tennis competition at the US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, will get underway on Thursday (4 September) with Japan’s two world number ones – Shingo Kunieda and Yui Kamiji - looking for further success.

In the men’s draw Kunieda is aiming for his third Grand Slam title of the year and will start his tournament against France’s Michael Jeremiasz. Another Frenchman, Nicolas Peifer, or the Netherlands’ Maikel Scheffers await the world No.1 if he progresses to the semi-finals.

France’s defending champion and number two seed Stephane Houdet will start his campaign in the other half of the draw against Belgium’s Joachim Gerard.

Should he be victorious, Houdet will face the winner of the match between Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Great Britain’s Gordon Reid.

“I’ve got great memories of my first US Open last year and it’s great to be back in New York,” said Reid. “I’ve played Gustavo three times this season and won all three matches, so although I’m expecting another tough contest I’ll be going all out to reach another semi-final.”

The women’s draw has pitted Yui Kamiji, a beaten semi-finalist last year, against the Netherlands’ Sharon Walraven. If successful, the Roland Garros champion will meet either another Dutch player Jiske Griffioen or Germany’s Australian Open champion Sabine Ellerbrock in the semi-finals.

World No.2 Aniek Van Koot of the Netherlands is the defending champion and has been drawn against South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane in her first match.

The victor will face either Great Britain’s Jordanne Whiley or the Netherlands’ Marjolein Buis in the semi-finals.

“I was actually quite nervous waiting for the draw to take place but now it’s done, I’m feeling really good and can’t wait to get on court at Flushing Meadows,” said Whiley. “I know it will be a tough match against Marjolein but I am confident I can reach the semis.”

The men’s Quads title will be contested between South Africa’s Lucas Sithole, Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne and the US duo of David Wagner and Nicholas Taylor.

Although they are rivals for the men’s singles title, Kunieda and Houdet will start as favourites for the doubles title as will Kamiji and Whiley in the women’s equivalent.

For all the results, please visit the US Open website.