The sport of wheelchair tennis has received little attention or research. While capable tennis outnumbers its wheelchair partner in terms of spectator base, sponsorship opportunities, and prize money, the latter alternative has allowed a variety of athletes to demonstrate their incredible athletic abilities while participating in the game. Except for the ball being allowed to skip twice and the subsequent ricochet occurring outside of the court, wheelchair tennis is indistinguishable from physically fit tennis. Given the proximity of the Tokyo Paralympic Games, we’ve compiled a list of the top eight wheelchair athletes of all time.
Shingo Kunieda (Japanese: Shingo Kunieda)
Shingo Kunieda is from Tokyo, Japan, and is a wheelchair tennis icon. He has won almost 50 singles titles, including 23 Grand Slams, throughout his career. The World No. 1 is the only player to have won the men’s singles title at the Paralympic Games, and he is trained by Hiromichi Maruyama. Kunieda prefers playing on firm surfaces and has an 88 percent success rate.
Kunieda was diagnosed with spinal cancer, which resulted in him being paralyzed from the waist down, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing the game and becoming a top competitor. Wheelchair tennis has the longest winning streak in its history. He played a total of 108 matches. He is a great competitor, having 101 all-out titles to his name, making him the best of all time.
Esther Veeger is widely regarded as the greatest wheelchair tennis player of all time, and possibly the greatest competitor to have ever lived. The former World No. 1 has a total of 148 singles trophies and 136 doubles titles to her credit, including 48 Grand Slams. Vergeer had dominated the female division for nearly a decade, with 695 victories and only 25 losses in singles. She also holds the world records for the longest winning streak (470 matches) and for holding the World No. 1 ranking for an long period of time.
As a child, Esther suffered from vascular myelopathy. She got handicapped after activity to treat the disease in 1990. She became a wheelchair tennis expert within five years of starting the sport, but tennis was not her primary sport. She was also a wheelchair basketball player who was an important member of the Dutch public team that won the European Championship in 1997.
Esther’s vocation chart is a masterful display of supremacy, and any sensible person would agree that no one will be able to duplicate it in the near future.
Diede de Groot
is a writer who lives in the Netherlands. Diede de Groot, the current World No. 1 wheelchair tennis player, is the only person who might possibly challenge Esther Vergeer’s records. The 24-year-old Dutch public has won nine Grand Slam singles titles and ten doubles titles. Her tennis career started when she was just seven years old. She loved the wheelchair sport after undergoing several medical operations for her uneven legs. Deide became a genius at the age of 17 and won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2017. She’s also one of the only players to win the Wimbledon, Australian Open, and US Open in successive years, but her focus is on securing her first Olympic gold in the upcoming Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Peter Norfolk, dubbed “The Quad father,” is a former World no. 1 In the quad class, there is only one wheelchair tennis player.. He has won six Grand Slam singles titles, two Grand Slam doubles titles, and the Paralympic gold medal in tennis for Great Britain. When he was 19, he was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident, which led to severe complications a decade later, resulting in him losing strength in his right arm and shoulder. That’s when Peter decided to take up wheelchair racing and went on to become a legend. He has won numerous titles over the course of his 13-year career, and he currently ranks third on the list of unrivaled quad title champions.
Dylan Alcott is a wheelchair ball and tennis (quad class) competitor from Australia. He’s the most improved and effective wheelchair competitor in the world, and he’s now ranked first in the quad division tennis rankings. He has won a total of 12 Grand Slam singles and eight Grand Slam doubles titles.
Dylan gained his first major prize in 2015 when he was voted Australian Paralympian of the Year, following a spectacular performance at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, where he won gold medals in both the singles and duplicates events.
Dylan was born paraplegic due to a malignancy that had spread across his spine. While tennis was his first sport, he made headlines when, at the age of 17, he became the most youthful competitor in the Wheelchair Basketball competition. He was also a key member of Australia’s first FIBA World Championships winning team.
Dylan has won all of his matches this year and has his sights set on the upcoming Paralympic Games, with a notable success rate of 94 percent on the dirt court.
David Wagner of California, United States, holds the record for most quad tennis titles. David has a total of 17 singles titles, including six Grand Slams, but it is in the copies class where he has truly demonstrated his power, winning 33 trophies, including 19 Grand Slams, the most by any player. In his professional career, he has 859 wins and 173 losses, with more than 157 singles titles under his belt.
After a near-death experience on the beach, David began his adventure in wheelchair sports. David began playing table tennis with only 30% utility in his grasp and won the National Championship numerous times in a row. He then moved on to wheelchair tennis, where he was able to secure the No. 1 spot in 2003.
He has eight Paralympic medals to his name but has yet to earn a gold medal in quad singles. The Tokyo Paralympic Games 2021 provide him with a perfect opportunity to win an award that has been missing from his collection.