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World's best ready for US Open Wheelchair Competition

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: Shingo Kunieda of Japan celebrates winning his Men's Wheelchair Singles Final against Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina during the 2014 Australian Open Wheelchair Championships at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)
August 7, 2015 11:43 AM

By Ashley Marshall, USOpen.org

The world’s top wheelchair tennis athletes return to New York next month for the 2015 US Open Wheelchair Competition.

The wheelchair tournament, now in its ninth year, will be held Sept. 10-13 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The competition will feature a men’s, women’s and quad division and will include six events: men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, women’s doubles, quad singles and quad doubles.

This year’s field will feature 17 of the top 20 wheelchair tennis athletes from around the globe, including the top seven men, top seven women and top three quads. One wild card has also been awarded for each event.

On the men’s side, world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda, 31, of Japan, will look to win his sixth US Open Wheelchair Competition singles title since 2007. Up-and-comer Gustavo Fernandez, 21, of Argentina, is seeded sixth and will be looking to avenge last year’s finals defeat to Kunieda (pictured above). France’s Stéphane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer are ranked second and third, respectively, with Joachim Gerard of Belgium No. 4 and Great Britain’s Gordon Reid fifth. Maikel Scheffers from the Netherlands is the No. 7 seed and Frenchman Michaël Jérémiasz, ranked 12th in the world and a three-time US Open Wheelchair Competition doubles champion, enters as a wild card.

In the women’s field, top seed Jiske Griffioen, 30, of the Netherlands, will look to claim her first US Open Wheelchair Competition title after becoming the No. 1 player in the world in June for the first time in her career. Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands enters as the No. 2 seed, with 21-year-old defending singles and doubles champion Yui Kamiji seeded third. Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock, Great Britain’s Jordanne Whiley and the Netherlands’ Marjolein Buis are seeded third through sixth. Great Britain’s Lucy Shuker is the No. 7 seed and 29-year-old American Kaitlyn Verfuerth rounds out the draw as the wild card entrant.

In the four-player quad division, three-time Paralympic Quad doubles gold medalists David Wagner and Nick Taylor of America occupy the No.1 and No. 4 seeds. Australia’s Dylan Alcott is seeded second with defending champion Andy Lapthorne of Great Britain seeded third. In doubles, Wagner and Taylor will look to continue their dominance in the event by putting their names on the trophy for a seventh time. They are the only team ever to win the Quad doubles title, and Wagner has tacked on two singles crowns.

Players were selected based on their ITF rankings as of July 27. The total purse for the event will be $180,000.

 

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