Hewett, Reid and Whiley among entries for cinch Championships and Viking Classic Birmingham
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Britain’s Grand Slam champions and Paralympic medallists Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid and Jordanne Whiley are among a star-studded cast of players for the wheelchair tennis events set to take place at both the cinch Championships and the Viking Classic Birmingham.
Hewett and Reid fought out an all-British men’s singles final at The Queen’s Club in 2019, which hosted the first grass-court wheelchair tennis ranking tournament to take place outside of Wimbledon, with Hewett emerging as the champion.
All three men’s wheelchair singles champions crowned at Wimbledon since 2016 are entered for the cinch Championships, with World No.5 Reid, the inaugural winner at The Championships, joined by Sweden’s World No.9 Stefan Olsson, the 2007 and 2018 Wimbledon champion, who also won the first exhibition wheelchair tournament at The Queen’s Club in 2018.
World No.2 Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina, Wimbledon champion in 2019, is the highest ranked of the eight entries, which feature seven top 10 ranked players.
Hewett, who won his third Roland Garros men’s singles title on Monday, said: “It's an amazing event. We have been to The Queen’s Club a couple of times. Once for an exhibition and once for the 2019 tournament.
“To be in view of the British public and to be playing on grass, which is a step forward for wheelchair tennis outside of Wimbledon, is something I'm really looking forward to.”
History will be made at the Viking Classic, where five top 10 players will contest the first women’s grass-court wheelchair tennis ranking tournament to take place outside of Wimbledon.
While Birmingham-born World No.4 Whiley is set to carry British hopes, the world’s top three women will provide the toughest of challenges, including Whiley’s best friend, Japan’s World No.2 Yui Kamiji.
Whiley has partnered Kamiji to four Wimbledon doubles titles since 2014, the year in which they completed the calendar Grand Slam.
Looking ahead to the Viking Classic, Whiley said: “I’ve been able to do a lot of exciting things during my career, but I’ve never had the chance to play a big event so close to where I was born and so close to my childhood home, so that in itself is exciting.
“But to play in the first women’s grass court wheelchair ranking event outside of Wimbledon will be quite special and key to my Wimbledon preparations.”
World No.1 Diede de Groot and World No.3 Aniek van Koot will be formidable opposition, De Groot having won the first of her back-to-back Wimbledon women’s singles titles in 2017 before Van Koot beat her fellow Dutchwoman in the 2019 final.