NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters Gets Underway in London

Stephane Houdet with the US Open trophy (Photo: Anouf Leouf, used under creative commons license)

The traditional season ending wheelchair tennis event which got under way in London on Wednesday as the city plays host to the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters. The main event in the tournament will be the men’s singles event which will see the season ending number one ranking on the line.

It is phenomenally tight in the men’s singles world rankings with Stephane Houdet only 94 points ahead of Gordon Reid. With a home town crowd behind him Reid could well become the world number one after the tournament, should the two play in the final, the difference between first and second would still be enough to decide the ranking.

The men’s singles field has four former champions of the event, with the world number three Joachim Gerard being the defending champion. Reid is not one of those defending champions but his phenomenal rise through the season makes him a real candidate for this tournament.

In the women’s singles field Jiske Griffioen has already sealed the number one ranking for the season and is a strong favorite for this year. Griffoen comes in as the defending champion and would be seeking her third NEC Masters title.

Yui Kamji will be a threat to the Dutch dominance of the NEC Masters as she comes in with a Rio bronze medal. A new player, Diede de Groot of Holland could also sneak in to the win, her first appearance at the tournament after her best ever year.

The quad singles will be missing a significant name as Newcombe Medalist and world number one Dylan Alcott will be absent due to injury. That leaves the door open for David Wagner who will be seeking his ninth title since 2004.

This will be the first time that six players have entered the competition, with two extra berths in the tournament. The best outsider chance is Andy Lapthorne, ranked number four in the world and with home support could claim the title.

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