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Grand Slam Season is Open: Roland Garros

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

Wheelchair Tennis I The Tennis Grand Slams, four tournaments from Paris to New York and from Melbourne to London, featuring the sport's top talents in the World's best stadia. With the Paralympic Games just around the corner we have the chance to see the best of the best that Wheelchair Tennis has to offer, a Parasport which has led the way in being fully integrated into the mainstream Tennis tournament. From the 26th of May to the ninth of June the French capital will kick things off and give us our first glimpse of a mouthwatering summer of Tennis ahead.

Parasports in Action: GB Wheelchair Tennis Player and Paralympian Alfie Hewitt (source: tennisfoundation.org.uk)

What is Roland Garros?

The French Open, also Known as Roland Garros, is the first out of four grand slams in a season and thus one of the most prestigious events on the (wheelchair) tennis calendar. As only grand slam the French open is being played on a gravel surface.

How was Wheelchair Tennis included?

After the 2000 Paralympic games in Sydney the sport attracted many people and it gained popularity. This popularity resulted in the inclusion of wheelchair tennis in the Australian open, one of the grand slams. Wheelchair tennis grew further as a Parasport and has been included in the US Open since 2005. Since 2006 the doubles event was added to Wimbledon, two years later Roland Garros was added to the calendar.

The wheelchair competition is held during the able bodied competition, which results in a bigger audience during the wheelchair tennis games. Wimbledon introduced wheelchair singles only in 2016, since the grass surface was considered to be too heavy for the players.

Parasports in Action: Dutch Wheelchair Tennis Player Diede de Groot just before hitting the ball (source: knltb.nl)

Which Athletes should you watch out for?

Alfie, Hewett, Great Britain

The winner of the French Open 2017 is not the first ranked player in the world, but he might be by the end of the season. Considering his age of 21, the Brit potentially isn’t even near his best yet. Besides that he was the winner of the duel when he and, the world ranking’s number 1, Shingo Kunieda met in the Final of the US Open 2018.

Diede de Groot, Netherlands

She is the world ranking leader by a big margin in advantage of number two Yui Kamiji. When the two met in the final of the US Open 2018 it was de Groot who took the win after a convincing 6-2, 6-3 win. For the Dutch star it was her third grand slam win last season. However that season de Groot lost the final of Roland Garros against that same Kamiji.

Nicolas Peifer and Stephane Houdet, France

They are the numbers one and two in the men’s doubles world ranking and they play together. The two Frenchmen are the home favourites and kept the French title at home in last years French open. Being the world leader however, doesn’t make them invincible. In the US Open for example, they lost against numbers three and four Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid.

Parasports in Action: Wheelchair Tennis Players and Paralympic champions Nicolas Peifer and Stephane Houdet celebrating last year's win (source: radiomelodie.com)

Where can you find out more about Roland Garros?

Roland Garros website: rolandgarros.com

Roland Garros on Instagram: www.instagram.com/rolandgarros @rolandgarros

Roland Garros on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RolandGarros


Stay tuned. Parasports World provides parasports news, paralympic sports entertainment and disability sports community. Find great parasport and inspiring para-athletes from the Paralympic Games, the Invictus Games and parasport events.

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Parasports World provides parasports and paralympic sports news, entertainment and community to a global audience interested in sports. Our vision is to redefine the way that parasport is reported: It’s great sports by great athletes. Our mission is to bundle worldwide parasports enthusiasts by delivering content that they love to see and engage with; from the Paralympic Games, the Invictus Games and other inspiring parasport events and championships.

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