The Wheelchair Tennis Masters are returning to the Netherlands!


The NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters and the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters, the prestigious year-end tournaments for the world's top wheelchair tennis players, will take place in Arnhem, the Netherlands, in November. Men, women and quads will compete in singles and doubles from November 11th to 17th for the official world titles.

The event is scheduled to happen at Sportpark Molenbeke in the capital of Gelderland province. It will follow a round-robin format (pool system), followed by knockout rounds. While the specific athletes haven't been announced yet, it's quite probable that top Dutch players like Diede de Groot, Jiske Griffioen, Niels Vink, and Sam Schröder will participate, given their current rankings. Overall, around 40 players from various parts of the globe are expected to compete.

David Haggerty, President ITF, said: "The NEC Wheelchair Singles and UNIQLO Doubles Masters is a fantastic event and offers a special opportunity for tennis fans to witness the world's best wheelchair tennis players excel. The Netherlands and Team TOC were excellent hosts in 2022, demonstrating their ability to host a world-class tournament in close partnership with the city and province, and we are pleased to work with them again this year. We also thank the city of Arnhem and the KNLTB for their support."

In recent years, the Dutch team has enjoyed remarkable success, spearheaded by Diede de Groot as the frontrunner. With victories across all Grand Slams, a Paralympic gold medal, triumphs in the European Para Championships, and numerous Master titles, De Groot's dominance is evident. Last month, she won the prestigious Laureus World Sports Award and was named Athlete of the Year with a disability. In the quads category, for players with limited functionality in one or both arms as well as in lower limbs, Sam Schröder and Niels Vink have been dominant in recent years as number one and two in the rankings. Looking ahead to the upcoming Paralympic Games in Paris this summer, both Dutch men and women stand as strong contenders. The Wheelchair Tennis Masters in Arnhem provides the first opportunity after Paris, to witness the Paralympic medalists live in action at a major tournament.

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The Dutch Tennis Association KNLTB is pleased with the arrival of the prestigious tournament. "It's wonderful that we can host this event again in the Netherlands, especially in the year we celebrate our 125th anniversary. Our Dutch wheelchair tennis players have been among the world's elite for years. It's fantastic that we can see them in action again in our own country," said Jacco Eltingh, Technical Director of KNLTB.

Helga Witjes, Deputy Sports Commissioner for the province of Gelderland, stated, "Everyone who desires should have the opportunity to engage in sports in Gelderland, regardless of any limitations. Sport fosters enjoyment, fosters community and promotes good health. We currently support initiatives such as the Multi Talent Center in Apeldoorn and we work together with the national program Unique Sports. We eagerly anticipate hosting a significant para-sporting event in Gelderland. Thus, we aim to contribute to this endeavor, thereby providing impetus to the development of disabled sports, with all the world-class athletes who will serve as a source of inspiration."

Bob Roelofs, alderman for Sports of the municipality of Arnhem agrees: "Sport and inclusivity go hand in hand, and the Wheelchair Tennis Masters highlights this concept. Arnhem is strongly committed to making sports accessible to everyone; therefore, we are incredibly proud to be the host of this tournament featuring the world's top wheelchair tennis players."

Wow, that was cool!

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