Paralympians set to compete at Wimbledon
Great Britain will have three Paralympians contesting the wheelchair tennis doubles event at The Championships, Wimbledon this year after Gordon Reid and Lucy Shuker gained direct entry with their respective doubles partners while Jordanne Whiley was awarded a wild card.
After making a tremendous debut at Roland Garros last week, where he reached his first Grand Slam singles semi-final and his first Grand Slam doubles final, Reid has moved up to a career high doubles world ranking of No. 5 this week. He will play at Wimbledon for the third time and will partner Dutchman Maikel Scheffers, a former Wimbledon doubles champion.
Reid and Scheffers have won four of the five tournaments they have played so far together and Reid is looking forward to renewing the partnership.
“After having a great first experience at Roland Garros I’m really excited about playing with Maikel at Wimbledon,” said Reid. “We have a great record together and it’s always a privilege to play at my home Grand Slam in front of a such a brilliant crowd.”
Shuker and Whiley reached the Wimbledon final together in 2012 before going on to win the women’s doubles bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympics, but will also renew successful partnerships with overseas players at the All England Club this year.
Shuker, a three-time finalist at Wimbledon, will partner Dutchwoman Marjolein Buis, with whom she reached the Australian Open final in January, while Whiley joins forces with Japan’s Yui Kamiji in a partnership that won their first tournament together at last week’s ITF 1 Korea Open.
After their respective tournaments in Paris and Seoul last week, Shuker and Whiley are both at career high doubles rankings this week with Shuker gaining a top three doubles ranking for the first time. Whiley has also moved up one place in this week’s doubles rankings to equal her career best at No. 6.
“There were lots of great memories for me and Jordanne in 2012, including reaching the final at Wimbledon in our second attempt at our home Grand Slam,” said Shuker. “But I’ve also got a good record with Marjolein. We’ve reached three finals in our five tournaments together and we only narrowly missed out in our semi-final at Roland Garros last week. It would be great to have two Brits in the final again this year, even if me and Jordanne are on the other side of the net to each other.”
Also in the men’s field are the defending champions Tom Egberink of the Netherlands and Michael Jeremiasz of France, as well as two-time Roland Garros champions and 2010 Wimbledon runners-up Stephane Houdet of France and Shingo Kunieda of Japan. The women's entries include defending champions and Australian Open and Roland Garros winners Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands, the London 2012 women’s doubles silver medallists.
A total of £38,000 in prize money is on offer for the wheelchair tennis doubles competition and the event will be played from Friday 5th July to Sunday 7th July.