Overview of Wheelchair Tennis
Wheelchair Tennis is incredibly tactical and technical, as well as being hugely popular. Over 100 different countries have official associations. The rules within wheelchair tennis are the same as in the ITF (international tennis federation), but there are a few differences to facilitate the fact that people are in a wheelchair.
The biggest difference is that a tennis ball can bounce twice in wheelchair tennis before the player has to hit it. The second bounce does not have to be within the boundaries of the court, however. When a player serves, they have to be stationary. However, before they strike the ball, they are allowed to push their wheel once.
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Within wheelchair tennis, the matches are always best out of three sets. Each set can be determined with a tie-break if this is needed. There are six different medal events within the sport, which are:
At the Paralympic Games, nations may enter no more than four men and four women in the wheelchair tennis singles. There can only be three quad players for the singles. For the doubles, a maximum of four men and four women has been set. For quad doubles, only two players can sign up. This sport is becoming increasingly popular, but there is also some criticism of it. The problem is that in order to play it well, the wheelchair has to be specially adapted and in excellent condition. As a result, it is not a particularly accessible sport, as purchasing and maintaining the equipment is often too expensive for everyday disabled people. Significant progress is being made by athletes and amateur players to request funding for tennis wheelchairs and considering the popularity of the London 2012 Paralympics, it is hoped that changes can be made and more government support will be provided.
Watch the final of the London 2012 Paralympics below.
HOUDET Stephane 0-2 KUNIEDA Shingo