The annual season ending Wheelchair Doubles Masters has had the final draw announced on Thursday morning. The announcement comes after the women’s Paralympic Champions Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot withdrew from the tournament.
That will allow an all South American combination of Angelica Bernal of Colombia and Francisca Mardobes of Chile to compete in the tournament. Yet again the tournament will be held and Mission Viejo in California for the fourth straight year.
With the absence of the Paralympic Champions on the women’s side of the draw that will push a new team to the number one seed. Diede de Groot, silver medalist in Rio, and Luch Shuker, bronze medalist, will now take that number one spot.
There is also a replacement on the men’s side as another Dutch pairing withdrew with Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers out. That will allow the Italian pair of Massimiliano Banci and Silviu Culea to come in to the draw.
Unsurprisingly the top seed for the men’s side of the draw is the Paralaympic Champions of France, Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer. A win in this tournament would cap a phenomenal season from the French pairing.
The other favorites in the men’s draw are the defending champions, Michael Jeremiasz from France and Britain’s Gordon Reid, who will look to defend their title. The quad doubles is dampened slightly with the absence of Australian Paralympic Champions Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson.
The American pairing of Nick Taylor and David Wagner will be the number one seed in the quad doubles after coming second in Rio. The Americans will be heavy favorites having been the dominant force through recent years, with the exception of Alcott and Davidson.
Eight men’s pairings, six women’s pairings and four quad pairings will compete in the year-end championship in California starting on the second of November. The entries are issued based on world rankings with the top in each classification in the 26 September rankings getting the initial invites.