Brits Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid are among winners from all four of this year’s Grand Slams and a host of Rio 2016 Paralympic medallists in a star-studded line-up for the 2017 Bath Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, which takes place from 14-18 November at the University of Bath Sports Training Village.
The seventh and penultimate UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour event either organised by or supported by the Tennis Foundation in Britain this year made a hugely-successful debut last year , with spectators once again invited to watch the world-class sport throughout the five days of greatly anticipated competition.
Sixteen of the players vying for the men’s, women’s and quad singles titles in Bath, including Britain’s Lucy Shuker and Antony Cotterill, will go on to contest the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, the year-end championship for the world’s leading singles players, in Loughborough later this month.
A stacked Bath Indoor men’s singles competition will feature seven of the world’s top 10 ranked players including top seed and world No.1 Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina, the winner of this year’s Australian Open and British Open titles. Fernandez reached the final in Bath last year but lost out on the trophy to Belgium’s Joachim Gerard, who is back to defend his crown.
Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson of Sweden is also bidding for the title, while Hewett, winner of the 2017 men’s singles at Roland Garros – and his Wimbledon and US Open doubles-winning partner Gordon Reid, lead the home challenge.
Top seed in the women’s singles is world No.2 Diede de Groot of the Netherlands, who won the Bath Indoor title 12 months before claiming the Wimbledon crown this year, as well as the US Open doubles title with fellow Dutchwoman Marjolein Buis.
Six top 10 ranked players contest the women’s singles, with world No. 7 Shuker also lining up alongside world No. 4 Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane.
In 2016 de Groot and Shuker paired up to win the women’s doubles in Bath.
Two-time Paralympian and University of Bath Sports Performance graduate Louise Hunt will also return to her former training base in a bid to gain local west country success.
In the quad singles, David Wagner of the United States will be bidding for his 11th title of 2017, but will have to overcome tough opposition from the likes of South Africa’s Lucas Sithole, Australian duo Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson, and Britain’s Antony Cotterill and James Shaw.
Cotterill will join Wagner, Sithole, Alcott and Davidson in the field of six quad singles players for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in two weeks’ time.
Barry Scollo, Director of Tennis at Team Bath, said: “We are delighted to once again be welcoming such world-class athletes to our outstanding indoor tennis facilities at the University of Bath.
“Last year’s competition served up a host of memorable matches and excellent performances and, looking at the quality of this year’s entry, I am certain we will be treated to more outstanding tennis from players at the pinnacle of their sport.
“Thank you to the Tennis Foundation for bringing this terrific tournament back to Bath for another year. Wheelchair tennis is such a great sport to watch, so I would encourage spectators to take this opportunity to come and enjoy some truly world-class sport for free.”
As well as being able to watch world class wheelchair tennis for free, members of the public are also invited to try wheelchair tennis in a free Tennis Foundation come and try session taking place from 11am-1pm on Saturday, 18 November. The session is open to all ages and abilities, with all equipment provided and licensed coaches on hand to give participants assistance and guidance.