News

Wheelchair Tennis

Learn about this Summer Paralympic sport

April 27, 2012
ELIZABETH DALZIEL—AP

Number one ranked wheelchair tennis player in the world Esther Vergeer serves against Australia's Daniela di Toro during a wheelchair tennis match at the 2008 Paralympic games in Beijing, China.

Wheelchair tennis is one of the fastest-growing wheelchair sports in the world. Brad Parks, an American athlete who was injured in a freestyle skiing competition, invented the sport in 1976 while using it as a method of therapy. Wheelchair tennis was first seen as an exhibition sport at the 1988 Paralympic Games, but it became a full medal event at the 1992 Games, in Barcelona, Spain. The London 2012 Games will be the first time the competition will be held in a new stadium created just for wheelchair tennis, called Eton Manor.

Rules of the Game

There are currently six events: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, quad singles and quad doubles. Quad players have an impairment that affects three or more limbs.

The rules of wheelchair tennis are similar to the standard game. One big exception is that the ball may bounce twice, with only the first bounce required to be in bounds on the court. Matches are played to the best-of-three sets, with the match winners advancing for the gold.

 

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