French Open 2022: Draw announced for wheelchair events
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Lucy Shuker begins the British wheelchair tennis challenge at the French Open on Tuesday, when she faces 2015 women’s singles champion Jiske Griffioen to start an historic week that will see 32 of the world’s top women’s, men’s and quad players contest a Grand Slam for the first time.
The women’s and men’s wheelchair draw sizes in Paris have both been expanded to 12 players this year, four more than the traditional draw size of eight that has previously featured at every Grand Slam wheelchair event since 2002.
Meanwhile, the quad division draw has also increased, from four to eight players, with Britain’s 15-time Grand Slam champion and 2020 Roland Garros singles finalist Andy Lapthorne also starting his campaign against Dutch opposition when he plays world No.1 Niels Vink on Wednesday.
It’s 15 years since Shuker made a winning French Open match debut, beating former world No.1 Maaike Smit in her first ever women’s singles match in Paris, but a second win has since proved elusive, with world No.5 Shuker returning to Roland Garros this year for the sixth time and the first time since 2016.
The increase in the men’s singles draw to 12 players means that world No.1 Alfie Hewett and world No.4 Gordon Reid both have first round byes. Three-time French Open men’s singles champion Hewett will begin his quest for a fourth title against either Dutchman Tom Egberink or Spain’s Daniel Caverzaschi, while two-time singles finalist Reid will face either Japan’s Tokito Oda or Nicolas Peifer of France in the quarter-finals.
Hewett and Reid also have a bye through to the men’s doubles semi-finals ahead of beginning their quest for an unprecedented tenth successive Grand Slam title together.
Nine-time Grand Slam doubles finalist Shuker partners the USA’s Dana Mathewson at a major for the first time this year. They will play Japan’s Momoko Ohtani and China’s Zhenzhen Zhu for a place in the last four of the women’s doubles.
Meanwhile, Lapthorne, who completed a career Grand Slam of doubles titles when he partnered the USA’s David Wagner to win the 2021 Roland Garros quad doubles crown, again partners Wagner this year when they meet Australian Heath Davidson and Brazil’s Ymanitu Silva in this year’s semi-finals.