Quad wheelchair draw increased in Grand Slam first

  • ausopen.com

Australia’s Dylan Alcott headlines an expanded quad draw as part of the wheelchair tennis events at Australian Open 2021, to be hosted from 14-17 February at Melbourne Park.

A Grand Slam first will see wheelchair tennis bolstered at the Australian Open in 2021. Joining the existing men’s and women’s wheelchair singles, the quad singles event has been boosted from four to eight players, with eight of the world’s top nine contributing to a stellar field.

World No.1 Alcott will attempt to win an astounding seventh consecutive AO quad wheelchair singles title at the tournament.

“I am super excited for the 2021 Australian Open after what has been such a challenging year for so many people. It’s awesome that the AO can bring a big lift to people whether they are able to attend live at Melbourne Park or watch TV, and I hope fans from around the world can enjoy the event,” Alcott said.

“I’m always extremely proud to have a Grand Slam take place in our own backyard and it is something we as Aussie players never take for granted. A mountain of work has been taking place behind the scenes to make sure the 2021 AO can go ahead in a successful and safe way, and I’m extremely appreciative of all the work done by Craig (Tiley) and everyone involved.

“In particular, I’m super pumped the AO quad wheelchair draws have been expanded in player numbers, the first grand slam to do so. I’ve had a really hard preseason and I’m looking forward to putting the work into action come February.”

Alcott’s strongest competition could come from world No.3 Sam Schroder, the young Dutchman who upstaged Alcott in the final of the 2020 US Open for his first major singles title.

Other threats in the field include second-ranked Andy Lapthorne of Great Britain – who stopped Alcott in the 2019 US Open final – and fellow Australian Heath Davidson, the world No.7 who teamed with Alcott to win Paralympic doubles gold at Rio 2016.

It is a similarly strong field in the men’s wheelchair singles, with the world’s top seven set to arrive at Melbourne Park.

Defending champion Shingo Kunieda leads an entry list also featuring Argentine Gustavo Fernandez, British stars Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, and Belgian world No.4 Joachim Gerard.

Japanese superstar Kunieda, the 36-year-old world No.1, followed up his AO 2020 triumph with victory at the US Open – his 24th Grand Slam singles title.

Rounding out the men’s field is Australian wildcard Ben Weekes (NSW), the world No.41.

The women’s tournament features eight of the world’s top 12, including the world’s top three players – Diede De Groot, Yui Kamiji and Aniek Van Koot – in what will be the latest instalment of a wheelchair tennis “trivalry”.

Kamiji, the world No.2, overcame Van Koot in the AO 2020 final, before losing to De Groot in the US Open final later in the year.

In 2019, the last year to feature all four Grand Slam events before COVID-19 impacted the 2020 schedule, De Groot beat Kamiji in three of the four major finals, only for Van Koot to stop her in the Wimbledon final, preventing a Grand Slam sweep.

Players will also compete in the Victorian and Melbourne Wheelchair Tennis Opens leading into the AO, the full fields are available below.

Australian Wheelchair Tennis Summer Series calendar

Date

Event

Location

3-6 February

Victorian Wheelchair Tennis Open

Hume Tennis Centre

8-11 February

Melbourne Wheelchair Tennis Open

Hume Tennis Centre

14-17 February

Australian Open 2021 Wheelchair Championships

Melbourne Park

Australian Wheelchair Tennis Summer Series fields

Men

 

 

 

Name

Surname

Country

Ranking*

Shingo

Kunieda

JPN

1

Gustavo

Fernandez

ARG

2

Alfie

Hewett

GBR

3

Joachim

Gerard

BEL

4

Gordon

Reid

GBR

5

Stephane

Houdet

FRA

6

Nicolas

Peifer

FRA

7

Ben

Weekes

AUS

41 (WC)

 

 

 

 

Women

 

 

 

Name

Surname

Country

Ranking*

Deide

De Groot

NED

1

Yui

Kamiji

JPN

2

Aniek

Van Koot

NED

3

Kgothatso

Montjane

RSA

6

Momoko

Ohtani

JPN

7

Angelica

Bernal

COL

8

Lucy

Shuker

GBR

11

Macarena

Cabrillana

CHI

12 (WC)

 

 

 

 

Quad

 

 

 

Name

Surname

Country

Ranking*

Dylan

Alcott

AUS

1

Andy

Lapthorne

GBR

2

Sam

Schroder

NED

3

David

Wagner

USA

4

Koji

Sugeno

JPN

5

Niels

Vink

NED

6

Heath

Davidson

AUS

7

Rob

Shaw

CAN

9 (WC)