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Wheelchair tennis

Tiffiney Perry, New Zealand Paralympian, competes in Wheelchair tennis.

What is Wheelchair tennis?

Wheelchair tennis is a popular sport which was invented in 1976. It is an adapted version of tennis for those with physical impairments limiting their lower body movement or lower and upper body movement.

Wheelchair tennis in New Zealand

Register your interest with Paralympics New Zealand now and we will help you to find a Para sport for you in your local area!

For more information on Wheelchair tennis visit the International Tennis Federation. You can also find out about Wheelchair tennis in New Zealand on Tennis New Zealand’s site. To get started playing Wheelchair tennis, get in touch with Wheelchair Tennis New Zealand.

How do you play Wheelchair tennis?

The game of Wheelchair tennis has the same sized courts, balls, rackets and rules as non-disabled tennis although with two exceptions – Para athletes use specially designed wheelchairs and the ball is allowed to bounce twice, with the second bounce allowed to occur outside the court.

Para tennis players have incredible skill in controlling the wheelchair, as they must quickly turn it around a point to get in position to return the ball and cover the entire court. 

Who is eligible for Wheelchair tennis?

Para athletes are able to compete in singles or doubles in matches that are the best-of-three sets.

Para athletes are divided into two classes:

  • ‘Open’ Class is for athletes with permanent impairment of one or both legs, but with normal arm function.
  • ‘Quad’ Class is for athletes with additional restrictions in the playing arm, which limits the ability to handle the racquet and manoeuvre the wheelchair. Quadriplegic players can hold rackets taped to their hand and are also able to use electric-powered wheelchairs. 

Read more about classification in Para sport.

History of Wheelchair tennis

Originally, Wheelchair tennis was played in the 1970s in the USA. It appeared at the Paralympic Games for the first time in Barcelona 1992. The sport is now played in more than 100 different countries.

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