ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour

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ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2012 ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour
NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour Logo.gif
Sport Professional Wheelchair Tennis
Founded 1992
Sponsor(s) Uniqlo
Related
competitions
ATP World Tour, WTA Tour
Official website [1]

ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour (Currently sponsored as the Uniqlo Wheelchair Tennis Tour and abbreviated to the Uniqlo Tour) is a tennis tour for disabled men and women. There are two categories of players who play on the tour. Paraplegic, this category is split into separate competitions for men and women. Quadriplegic this category sees men and women compete together, the competitors are also allowed to use moterized wheelchairs. The tour was formed in 1992, comprising just 11 events. The tour now has over 150 in four different categories.

Overview[edit]

The ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour is the world tour for wheelchair tennis. It is also the branch of the International Tennis Federation that is designed to protect the interests of the wheelchair tennis game. As of 2011, 173 tournaments are covered by the tour over many different categories. The tour's main goals are:

  • Provide opportunities for thousands of people with physical disabilities to compete in events organised at the highest level of organisation and professionalism.
  • Offer high intensity competition and excitement for men, women, junior and quad players from the recreational to the professional level.
  • Increase awareness for persons with disabilities throughout the world
  • Give wheelchair athletes rightful recognition as top sport athletes
  • Create opportunities for athletes to enjoy and compete in a sport for a lifetime with able-bodied and disabled people.[1]

History[edit]

Wheelchair Tennis started in the 1970s through Jeff Minnenbraker and Brad Parks. First tournament took place in Los Angeles in 1977, which was won by Parks.[2] In 1980 the National Foundation of Wheelchair Tennis (NFWT) was formed. A circuit of 10 tournaments within the USA was also established including the first US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships. In 1981 The Wheelchair Tennis Players Association (WTPA) was formed.

The WTPA was formed to: a) Foster competitive wheelchair tennis for the physically disabled throughout the world; b) Establish and enforce rules which create fair and equitable play for all participants; c) Organise a competitive network of tournaments sanctioned by the association; and d) Formulate a uniform system throughout the world.

Also the WTPA with the NFWT formed the Grand Prix Circuit, linking four tournaments in major cities finishing with the US Open. The first tournaments outside of the USA began in France in 1982 as four tournaments were held. The first team competition the WOrld Team Cup was established in 1985. The NEC Tour was formed in 1992.

NEC Tour[edit]

The Tour comprises several different categories, ITF Masters Series, which comprises the Grand Slams and the Wheelchair Tennis Masters. The second level of tournaments is Super Series and comprises five tournaments. The other three categories on the main tour are known as ITF 1, 2 and 3 (these were formerly known as the Championship Series) with futures for the developing players (formally known as satellite tour).

Event category Number Total prize money (USD) Winner's ranking points Governing body
ITF Masters Series 4 See individual articles 2,000 ITF
ITF Super Series 1 4,450,000 1100-1500 ITF
ITF 1 9 2,450,000 to 3,645,000 1000 ATP
ITF 2 11 755,000 to 2,100,000 500 ATP
ITF 3 40 416,000 to 1,024,000 250 ATP
ITF Futures 534 10,000 and 15,000 17 to 33 ITF

See also[edit]

References[edit]