US Open 2020: Wheelchair Tennis Competition preview
• 5 MINUTE READ
A record five Brits contest the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition in 2020, with Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Andy Lapthorne and Jordanne Whiley having already won an impressive 13 titles between them in New York since 2014.
The quartet are joined in this year’s field by Lucy Shuker, who will contest her fifth US Open since 2013.
When does the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition 2020 start and finish?
Four days of competition for the 2020 US Open wheelchair tennis titles begins on Thursday 10 September, with the men’s and women’s singles quarter-finals and the first of three days of round-robin matches for Lapthorne in the quad singles.
The men’s and women’s doubles semi-finals are scheduled for Friday, while the women’s singles final and the men’s and quad doubles finals are set to take place on Saturday. Play continues through to Sunday 13 September, which features the men’s and quad singles finals along with the women’s doubles final.
British wheelchair US Open champions
The US Open first staged a wheelchair tennis world ranking event in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2007 that a British player tasted victory after the legendary Peter Norfolk claimed the inaugural quad singles title.
Norfolk added his second quad singles title in 2009 before Lapthorne became the second Brit to win the quad singles title in 2014, the same year in which Whiley completed her historic calendar year Grand Slam with women’s doubles partner Yui Kamiji. In doing so, Whiley became the first British tennis player to complete a calendar year Grand Slam – a distinction that she still holds.
Whiley returns to New York exactly five years on from becoming the first Brit to win a Grand Slam women’s wheelchair singles title after beating Kamiji in the 2015 final.
Twelve months ago Hewett, Reid and Lapthorne won four titles on the final day of the 2019 US Open, Hewett and Lapthorne will start this year’s event as the defending champions in men’s singles and quad singles. Both players will be bidding for their third titles.
Who are the main international contenders?
The five Brits make up one quarter of the entrants for the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition, the full field of 20 players consisting of eight in the men’s singles and doubles, eight in the women’s singles and doubles and four players in the quad singles and doubles.
World No.3 Hewett is one of three former champions in the men’s singles field alongside world No.1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan and world No.6 Stephane Houdet of France.
Both multiple champions themselves, Kunieda and Houdet are the two players that Hewett has beaten in each of the last two finals and join Reid and Hewett among the world’s top seven players in the 2020 field. Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina, winner of the first three Grand Slam tournaments of 2019, will be another strong contender to look out for.
In the women’s singles, world No.5 Whiley is also one of three former champions vying for this year’s title, alongside world No.1 Diede de Groot, the champion for the past two years, and Kamiji, who is also a two-time champion.
The top four world-ranked players contest the quad singles, with world No.2 Lapthorne joining world No.1 Alcott and American David Wagner as former champions in New York. The trio are joined by Dutchman Sam Schroder, who makes his Grand Slam debut.
All the news from the 2020 draw
The draw for the 2020 US Open wheelchair tennis event took place in New York on Tuesday evening UK time, two days before the start of competition.
As in the women’s singles draw at the start of the US Open fortnight, there is an all-Brit match-up in the opening round of the men’s wheelchair singles as Hewett faces Reid. It will be the second time in just over a week the two have met after Hewett edged their round-robin contest at the LTA Wheelchair Tennis Series 7-5, 7-5 last week.
They also have form at the US Open, having met in the last four in 2017 in the first ever all-Brit wheelchair singles semi-final at a Grand Slam – a contest that Hewett also won in his first US Open.
The men’s doubles will see Hewett and Reid face Fernandez and Kunieda for a place in the final, having beaten the same duo in a deciding match tie-break in last year’s final.
Whiley has the toughest of opening matches in the women’s singles, having been drawn to meet defending champion and world No.1 de Groot, while Shuker will bid to overcome Angelica Berrnal of Colombia for the first time in five matches.
Shuker and Whiley and their respective Japanese partners are on opposite sides of the women’s doubles draw, with Shuker and Momoko Ohtani drawn to meet Dutch top seeds Marjolein Buis and De Groot.
As is traditional at the US Open, the quad singles begins as a round-robin contest in which Lapthorne will play Alcott, Schroder and Wagner over the course of three days, with the top two players after the round-robin going forward to the final.
How to watch and live stream the US Open 2020 in the UK
Wheelchair matches are available to watch on Amazon Prime if held at Louis Armstrong Stadium (Thu-Sun) and Arthur Ashe Stadium (Sat-Sun).
Back the Brits at the US Open