April 27, 2017

USTA Announces U.S. Teams to Compete in Wheelchair Tennis’ BNP Paribas World Team Cup

U.S. Teams to Compete in Wheelchair Tennis’

Premier International Team Competition, May 1-7, in Sardinia, Italy

 

Junior Team Looks to Retain Title; Quad Team Hopes to Regain Title and

 Women’s Team and Looks to Improve on Last Year’s Result

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 19, 2017 – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced the players and coaches who will represent the United States at the 2017 BNP Paribas World Team Cup. The nation’s top wheelchair tennis players will compete against participants from around the globe, May 1-7, at the Baia di Conte and Alghero Tennis Club in Sardinia, Italy.

 

The World Team Cup is the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis event, often referred to as the Davis Cup and Fed Cup of wheelchair tennis. The inaugural event was held in California in 1985 involving six men’s teams. The women’s competition began the following year, with quad and junior events introduced in 1998 and 2000, respectively. The event has experienced continued growth since.

 

A total of 40 teams representing 29 countries will take part in the 2017 competition in Sardinia. Teams will compete in the women’s World Group (12 nations), quad event (8 teams) and junior event (8 teams). The event will take place on hard courts. After finishing outside the top twelve at last year’s event the men’s team was relegated to the World Team Cup qualifying event earlier this year in March in Quito, Ecuador.  After finishing as the runners-up to Brazil they will have to wait until 2018 for a shot to win the World Team Cup qualifying event to make it back into the World group. 

 

Representing the U.S. at the 2017 BNP Paribas World Team Cup will be:

 

Women’s Team

Paul Walker (Coach), Lakeland, Fla.

Dana Mathewson, San Diego

Mackenzie Soldan, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Lauren Haneke-Hopps, San Diego

 

Quad Team

John Devorss (Coach), Salem, Ore.

Bryan Barten, Tucson, Ariz.

Nick Taylor, Wichita, Kan.

David Wagner, Hillsboro, Ore.

 

Junior Team

Jason Harnett (Coach), Orlando, Fla.

Conner Stroud, Spindale, N.C.

Joanna Nieh, New York

Nathan Melnyk, New York

 

Head Physio

Jenna Street, Colorado Springs, Colo.

 

Team Manager

Jason Allen, Orlando, Fla.

 

The U.S. junior team will look for the three-peat after winning titles in 2015 and 2016, but it will have to accomplish the feat without a few familiar faces. Returning member Conner Stroud will step into the lead role with his year’s group after Chris Herman and Casey Ratzlaff aged out of the junior division. Newcomers Joanna Nieh and Nathan Melnyk will look to add their names as World Team Cup champions.

 

The quad team will look to regain its title after a fifth-place finish last year. The team will be led by three-time Paralympic doubles gold medalists David Wagner and Nick Taylor and joined by two-time Paralympian Bryan Barten.

 

The U.S. women’s team will be led by 2016 Paralympian Dana Mathewson as it looks to improve on its eighth-place finish from last year.

 

The USTA was officially designated by the USOC as the national governing body for the Paralympic sport of wheelchair tennis in June 2002, becoming the first Olympic national governing body to earn this recognition. As the national governing body for wheelchair tennis, the USTA manages wheelchair tennis in the United States, including the sanctioning of tournaments, overseeing wheelchair rankings, creating and managing a High Performance program for developing elite disabled athletes, and selecting teams to compete internationally for the United States.

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USTA Awards Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grants to 21 Programs

 

 

USTA AWARDS MORE THAN $150,000

IN WHEELCHAIR TENNIS GRASSROOTS GRANTS

TO 21 PROGRAMS NATIONWIDE

Grants Target Organizations That Foster Wheelchair Tennis

In Their Local Communities

 

ORLANDO, FLA., (March 9, 2017)– The USTA announced that it is awarding more than $150,000 in USTA Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grants to deserving wheelchair tennis programs nationwide. Grants were awarded to local organizations that promote and develop the growth of wheelchair tennis and use the sport of tennis to build stronger, healthier communities. The first USTA Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grants were awarded in 2008 and since that time, the USTA has given more than $600,000 to wheelchair tennis programs across the country.

 

Fifty thousand dollars in grants are a result of the USTA Wheelchair Grassroots Grants which are utilized to enhance and improve each organizations offerings in a variety of areas, including coaching, court time, equipment, recruitment and events. The remaining $100,000 in grants come from the Wheelchair Tennis Pathway Grant which was funded by the USTA Foundation.  The funds were made possible through monies provided by the Neilsen Foundation.  Each selected organization will receive $5,000 along with a new wheelchair for their programming.   Part of this grant also goes to funding the USTA All Comers Camps.

These annual camps, hosted in Salt Lake City, Indianapolis and Lakeland, Florida, take place three times a year and are designed for skill levels from beginners, intermediate to advanced.

 

“Wheelchair tennis continues to grow in stature and popularity in the United States and the USTA is proud to award these grants to deserving wheelchair tennis organizations for their commitment in promoting and growing the sport,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis and USTA National Campus. “These organizations positively impact wheelchair tennis and we know that these grants will be a part of a continued effort in expanding programs that support the wheelchair community through tennis and foster growth and success in players.”

 

The grants are being awarded to the following organizations:

·       2 Bounce Tennis, La Quinta, Calif.*

·       Adaptive Athletics at the University of Houston, Houston, Texas**

·       Asociación de tenis de Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR*

·       Brandt Sports Management, Orlando, Fla.

·       CHI Health, Omaha, Neb.

·       Columbus Corporation, Oklahoma City, Okla.

·       Lakeshore Foundation, Birmingham, Ala.

·       Lee County Community Tennis Association, Fort Myers, Fla.*

·       Michigan State University Adaptive Sports, East Lansing, Mich.

·       Mid Carolina Tennis Association, Rock Hill, S.C.

·       Orthotic and Prosthetic Activities Foundation, Charlotte, N.C.*

·       Paula G Manship YMCA, Baton Rouge, La.

·       Plantation Community Tennis, Plantation, Fla.

·       Ray and Joan Kroc Center, Greenville, S.C.

·       Richmond Tennis Association, Richmond, Va.

·       South Coast Wheelchair, Attleboro, Mass.*

·       University of Alabama Adaptive Athletics, Tuscaloosa, Ala.**

·       USTA Montana, Missoula, Mont.

·       Utah Tennis Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah**

·       Walton Foundation for Independence, Augusta, Ga.

·       West Coast Wheelchair Tennis Association, North Hollywood, Calif.*

·       Wheel it Forward, Gladston, Mo.

·       Wheelchair Sports Inc., Wichita, Kansas**

·       Wheelchair Tennis San Diego, San Diego, Calif.

 

Key – (No stars – Grassroots Grant, * – Wheelchair Tennis Pathway Grant and ** – Both)

 

Organizations that are interested in starting a wheelchair tennis program or would like more information about wheelchair tennis can email wheelchairinfo@usta.com.
 

 

 

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USTA Names 2016 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis Team

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(June 27, 2016) WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.  – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and U.S. national wheelchair tennis team coach Dan James today announced the eight players who will represent the United States in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sept. 9-16.

The U.S. will be one of 29 countries, represented by the 100 wheelchair tennis competitors from around the world, vying for gold in the men’s, women’s and quad events. The competition will take place at the Barra Tennis Center, the same venue used for the Rio 2016 Olympic tennis event.

“The USTA is extremely proud of the group of wheelchair tennis athletes who will represent the United States at this year’s Paralympic Games,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman, CEO and President. “These athletes never stop to amaze me in all they can do within their sport. They truly embody the honor of being named a Paralympian. I’m looking forward to watching them compete as they look to claim gold.”

The men’s team will be led by Jon Rydberg (Woodbury, Minn.) and Steve Baldwin (San Diego).

The women’s team will feature Emmy Kaiser (Ft. Mitchell, Ky.), Dana Mathewson (San Diego) and Kaitlyn Verfuerth (Flagstaff, Ariz.).

The quad team, led by three-time doubles gold medalists David Wagner (Hillsboro, Ore.), and Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kan.), will also include second-time Paralympian Bryan Barten (Tucson, Ariz.). Wagner, who is currently the world No. 2 in singles and No. 1 in doubles, will be hoping to capture the illustrious gold medal in men’s quad singles at the Paralympics for the first time. Wagner won silver in singles at the Paralympics in 2004 and 2012.

Direct entries are based on ITF World Rankings from May 23, 2016. Similar to the wild-card rule at other tennis tournaments, the U.S. wheelchair tennis team has been granted Bipartite slots by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Bipartite slots allow the Paralympic event to allocate additional slots to countries competing in the events. Rydberg, Baldwin, Verfuerth and Barten were all granted Bipartite slots to compete in Rio.

Coach Dan James, of Seattle, will be assisted at this year’s Paralympics by assistant coach Jason Harnett, of Irvine, Calif., as well as team leader Emily Sandor, of New York.

This year’s Paralympic Games mark the seventh time wheelchair tennis will be part of the competition, and the fourth time the quad division will be included. The quad team of Wagner and Taylor won consecutive gold medals in doubles at the 2012 Games in London, 2008 Games in Beijing, and 2004 Games in Athens, Greece.

Wheelchair tennis was introduced to the Paralympic program in 1988 as an exhibition event before becoming a full medal sport at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Paralympic tennis is an open competition, eligible to those athletes with a mobility-related disability. All competitors must compete in a wheelchair. More than 4,200 elite athletes with physical disabilities from around the world are expected to compete in the 2016 Paralympic Games.

The USTA was officially designated by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as the national governing body for the Paralympic sport of wheelchair tennis in June 2002, becoming the first Olympic national governing body to earn this recognition. As the national governing body for wheelchair tennis, the USTA manages wheelchair tennis in the United States, including the sanctioning of tournaments, overseeing wheelchair rankings, creating and managing a High Performance program for developing elite disabled athletes, and selecting teams to compete internationally for the United States.

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