An Overview of Wheelchair Tennis
One of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world, wheelchair tennis integrates very easily with the non-disabled game since it can be played on any regular tennis court, with no modifications to rackets or balls. Wheelchair tennis players are allowed two bounces of the ball and can easily play against other wheelchair tennis players, as well as alongside or against non-disabled friends and family.
One of the biggest myths about wheelchair tennis is that you have to use a chair in your everyday life in order to be eligible to play. In actual fact, the game is open to anyone with a physical disability including, but by no means limited to, spinal injuries, spina bifida, limb loss, hyper mobility and cerebral palsy.
There are opportunities to enter tournaments from beginner level right up to the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, where the world's top players compete in three divisions - men, women and quad, which is for those with a disability in three or more limbs.
The Tennis Foundation Wheelchair Tennis Development Series caters for players of all abilities and is the entry-level tier of tournaments for wheelchair players in Great Britain. Development Series tournaments are open to absolutely anyone who would like to compete and there are plenty of other local events too.
You can get started in a day chair (if you use one) but you will find movement around the court improves when using a tennis chair as they are specifically designed for that purpose with an anti-tip wheel at the back and the side wheels being on an angle to help with changing direction.
There are tennis chairs available at all centres supported by the Tennis Foundation or you can contact the Dan Maskell Tennis Trust to apply for a grant to purchase your own.