4 Brits qualify for Australian Open Wheelchair Tennis Champs
Great Britain's Gordon Reid, Jordanne Whiley, Lucy Shuker and Andy Lapthorne are among the 20 entries announced for the Australian Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships at Melbourne Park from 22-25 January.
It will be the second Grand Slam wheelchair tournament in a row that will feature four Brits after September's US Open in New York.
World No. 4 Reid will contest his first Australian Open and complete a full set of career Grand Slam appearances after reaching the men's singles semi-finals on his debuts at both Roland Garros and the US Open in 2013. He was also a finalist in the men's doubles at Roland Garros in May.
Lapthorne reached his first Grand Slam quad singles final in Melbourne in 2013, having previously won two Australian Open quad doubles titles in 2011 and 2012 with his London 2012 silver medal-winning doubles partner Peter Norfolk. He made his Grand Slam debut at the 2011 Australian Open and will hope to land his first Grand Slam singles title in Melbourne in 2014.
World No. 7 Whiley and world No. 8 Shuker will both be in the elite field of eight players for the first time. Whiley made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open in 2011 and will return to Melbourne Park for the first time since then. Meanwhile, Shuker reached her first Australian Open singles semi-final and her second Australian doubles final in 2013.
"To have four Brits complete at the Australian Open for the first time is an exciting way to start a very important season for our Performance Programme players in 2014, with Rio 2016 just two years away," said Geraint Richards, the Tennis Foundation's Head of Disability Player Performance.
"In 2013 Gordon, Jordanne, Lucy and Andy all produced some career best performances, including Andy reaching his first Grand Slam singles final in Melbourne and Gordon reaching his first Grand Slam singles semi-finals at Roland Garros and the US Open so I'm confident they will be in good form taking on the world's best."
British players will begin the 2014 ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour at the Sydney International Open, the first Super Series tournament of the year, which takes place on 10-14 January.