Written by Ryan M. Bright
FLUSHING, NY – Today was a “grand slam” of a day in the world of tennis as the U.S. Open for Wheelchair Tennis began in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, New York City. This is its eighth year at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and people from all over the globe came to watch their international wheelchaired heros and heroins be seeded today.
The intensity will be great with 11 men and 9 women competing this year. Men’s singles include Shingo Kunieda (Japan; 1) vs. Michael Jeremiasz (France), Nicolas Peifer (France) vs. Maikel Scheffers (Netherlands), Gustavo Fernandez (Argentina) vs. Gordon Reid (Great Britain), and Joachim Gerard (Belgium) vs. Stephane Houdet (France; 2).
Women’s singles include Yui Kamiji (Japan; 1) vs Sharon Walvaren (Netherlands), Jiske Griffoen (Netherlands) vs. Sabine Ellerbrock (Germany), Marjoin Buis (Netherlands) vs. Jordanne Whiley (Great Britain), Kgothatso Montjane (Russia) vs. Aniek Van Koot (Netherlands; 2).
Men’s doubles will be Stephane Houdet/Shingo Kunieda (1) vs Gustavo Fernandez/Joachim Gerard and Michael Jeremiasz/Nicolas Peifer vs. Gordon Reid/Maikel Scheffers (2).
Women’s doubles are Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley (1) vs. Sabine Ellerbrock/Kgothatso Montjane and Marjoin Buis/Sharon Walvaren vs. Jiske Griffoen/Aniek Van Koot (2).
Quad singles are Nick Taylor (Wichita, KS) vs David Wagner (Chula Vista, CA) and Andrew Lapthorne (Great Britain) vs Lucas Sithole (South Africa). Quad doubles are Nicholas Taylor/David Wagner vs. Andrew Lapthorne/Lucas Sithole.
The draw had an under-20 USTA member, Nate Melnyk (Centerport, NY), pull the names. After the draw for the 2014 US Open Wheelchair Division, players, such as Joachim Gerard, helped youth from the crowd try out wheelchair tennis for themselves.
The games begin Thursday, September 4, at 11:00 am on Court 11 with quad singles Lucas Sithole vs David Wagner. Quaterfinals continue on the same court with women’s singles Yui Kamiji (1) vs. Sharon Walraven, men’s singles Joachim Gerard vs. Stephane Houdet (2), women’s singles Kgothatso Montjane vs. Aniek Van Koot (2), and men’s singles Nicolas Peifer vs. Maikel Scheffer.
Also at 11:00 am, Court 13 will hold quad singles Andrew Lapthorne vs Nicholas Taylor, followed by women’s singles quaterfinals with Jiske Griffoen vs Sabine Ellerbrock, men’s singles with Gustavo Fernandez vs. Gordon Reid, and women’s singles Marjolein Buis vs. Jordanne Whiley.
Defending singles titles are Stephane Houdet (men), Lucas Sithole (quad), and Aniek Van Koot (women) against Shingo Kunieda (men) and Yui Kamiji (women), who are both ranked No. 1 Player of the world.
About the Author: Ryan M. Bright is a member of the Sports ‘n Spokes and Wheelchair Sports Federation media team reporting on events at 2014 US Open in Flushing, New York. The all-volunteer media team consists of professional writers and photographers who are donating their time and expertise to showcase the athleticism of disabled U.S. athletes and highlight their world class achievements in wheelchair tennis. Partnering with Sports ‘n Spokes, the Wheelchair Sports Federation is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for the disabled and wheelchair using adults and youth to play sports recreationally and competitively. For more information, visit www.WheelchairSportsFederation.org.