wheelchair tennis

Wheelchair Tennis: Everything You Wanted To Know

Complete GuideWheelchair Tennis is a relatively new sport that has only been around for a few decades. However, in that short time, it has become hugely popular and gained recognition all over the world. The sport was originally formed in the late 1980s, and it quickly became a sensation.

It was a platform for all disabled tennis enthusiasts to play in a competitive environment and make a name for themselves. Today, Wheelchair tennis is a recognized sport that is watched across the globe.

It features all prestigious tournaments and is even considered a core component of the Paralympics. The popularity of the sport shows no signs of slowing down, and it looks like it is here to stay.

Despite its increasing popularity, the term “wheelchair tennis” still seems confusing to many. To our surprise, wheelchair and regular tennis games have much more in common than one might think. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the basics of wheelchair tennis.

Wheelchair tennis is played on the same size court as regular tennis, with the same net height and ball. The main difference is that players are allowed two bounces instead of one before returning the ball.

In addition, players are not restricted to the wheelchair during play – they are allowed to get out of the chair to hit balls that are too far away.

There are also some differences in equipment. For example, wheelchairs used in tennis have low-pressure tires that allow for easy maneuverability and extra stability. Players may also use special racquets that have longer handles to compensate for the fact that they cannot generate as much power with their arms.

While there are some differences between wheelchair tennis and regular tennis, the two sports are more alike than most people realize.

Where and When Was Wheelchair Tennis Invented?

In 1976, Brad Parks was a young American tennis prodigy. Then, during a skiing accident, he became paralyzed. This tragedy led to the invention of wheelchair tennis.

The game was created so that people with disabilities could still enjoy the sport of tennis. Wheelchair tennis can be played on any surface and is open to any players with a disability that prevents them from using their legs to run. The game is played with the same scoring andrules as regular tennis.

The first wheelchair tennis tournament was held in 1980, and today there are tournaments all over the world. Thanks to Brad Parks, wheelchair tennis is enjoyed by many people with disabilities.

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How Is The Game OF Wheelchair Tennis Played?

There are certain criteria that must be met in order to play wheelchair tennis. According to the Wheelchair Tennis Criteria, athletes with physical disabilities that meet any of the following qualities may play: has problems or is not able to run; has an insufficient function in one or both legs; sufficient upper body function and strength to hit the ball whilst maintaining a competitive rally; is challenged from a sitting position.

If an athlete meets any of these descriptions, they must then provide proof of their disability through certain documents.

These include a medical certificate completed by a certified medical doctor or licensed health care provider that states the nature and extent of the impairment, how long it will last and activity limitation. After an athlete has done so, they are then welcome to compete in tournaments (both national and international) and matches. 

Wheelchair tennis is played on the same court as regular tennis with singles or doubles matches. The only difference is that the Service Boxes are extended to make it easier for players in wheelchairs to reach.

In addition, there is no let rule; meaning if the ball hits the top of the net cord on a serve and bounces over into the receiver’s Court, it is still considered a legal serve.

Wheelchair tennis is played on a regular tennis court with the same dimensions and net height as able-bodied tennis. The main difference is that wheelchair athletes are allowed two bounces of the ball instead of one. The ball can also be hit in front of, behind, or to the side of the body.

When returning the ball, it must be placed within the boundaries of the court. There are no other specific rules regarding hitting the ball; however, there are additional charlie’s place Wheelchair Tennis played under slightly different rules than able-bodied Tennis.

For example, while each player is still allowed two bounces before returning the ball, the ball can be hit in front of, behind, or to either side of their body.

In addition, when returning the ball, it only needs to be placed within the boundaries of the court rather than over the net. While these may seem like small changes, they make wheelchair tennis a unique and exciting sport to watch.

All competitors play the game using wheelchairs. The general idea of the game is to hit the ball over the net in such a way that your opponents will not be able to return it.

Unlike regular tennis, there are some modifications made to the wheelchair version of the game. For example, the ball is allowed to bounce twice before it must be returned.

In addition, players are allowed to let the ball bounce once inside their service box before serving. This modification make the game a bit more interesting and challenging for all players.

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Regular Tennis vs Wheelchair Tennis

Sitting On A Wheelchair

One of the most notable differences between wheelchair tennis and traditional tennis is that all athletes must be seated in a wheelchair. Because of this, players must learn to maneuver around the court in their chair. In fact, the wheelchair itself becomes an extension of the player’s body.

This can take some time to get used to, but once athletes have mastered it, they can move seamlessly around the court.

Additionally, this format provides a unique challenge that many athletes find both interesting and exciting. It’s one of the many reasons why wheelchair tennis continues to grow in popularity.

Players who are new to the game may find it difficult to coordinate their movements and hit the ball at the same time. However, with a bit of practice, they will be able to master this skill. One of the keys to success is to keep the arms relaxed while gripping the wheels tightly.

This will allow players to apply the necessary force without tiring their muscles too much.

Additionally, it is important to maintain a good posture while sitting in the wheelchair. This will not only improve players’ stamina but also help them move more easily. With these tips in mind, anyone can sit in a wheelchair and become a champion wheelchair athlete.

Different bounces for the tennis ball

Wheelchair tennis is a thrilling sport that is enjoyed by players of all abilities. While the court size and ball are the same as regular tennis, there is one key difference in the rules: a tennis ball is only allowed to bounce twice before it can be counted as a point for either side.

This means that players are able to strike the ball after the second bounce, as long as it lands within the court boundaries. As a result, wheelchair tennis offers an exciting and unique challenge for athletes.

Whether you are a seasoned player or just starting out, wheelchair tennis is sure to provide you with a fun and engaging experience.

Holding Balls On The Chair’s Rim

The wheelchair is an amazing invention that has given mobility and independence to countless people. But did you know that the wheelchair is also specially designed to hold in tennis balls?

Depending upon the design, each rim can hold up to a dozen tennis balls at one time! This is a wonderful quality considering how it allows players to easily access them at any point in time. It not only saves time but also ensures that the tennis balls stay intact.

Wheelchair tennis players are creative when it comes to storing their tennis balls! While most players store a couple of balls in their pockets for convenience, this is not an option for wheelchair tennis players. Instead, they solve the problem by storing the balls on the wheels of their wheelchair.

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This allows them to have quick and easy access to the balls throughout the match. Not only is this solution convenient, but it also saves time and effort.

As a result, wheelchair tennis players are able to play with the same level of convenience as their standing counterparts.

Different Tennis Racket Rules

Wheelchair tennis is a sport that anyone can play, regardless of their level of mobility. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) governs the official rules of the game, and they have made some accommodations to ensure that everyone can participate.

For example, in the quad division, athletes with amputated arms or other disabilities in the upper body are allowed to use racquets that are longer in size.

The referee even provides extra time for athletes to set up their equipment in such cases.

Additionally, the ITF has also allowed players to tape their racquets to their hands. If a player does not have functioning movement in their hands, this adjustment allows them to still compete. Wheelchair tennis is a sport that is inclusive and accessible for all, and it is one of the many reasons why it is such a popular game around the world.

Different Serve Rules

The game of wheelchair tennis has many interesting rules and one of the most intriguing is the serve.

Unlike in regular tennis, wheelchair tennis players are allowed a single push of their chair before they must hit the ball. This allows them to gain momentum for their strike, but it also makes the game more challenging.

Because they can only push once, players must be strategic about when they use this extra boost of speed. If they push too early, they may not have enough time to line up their shot.

But if they wait too long, they may not have enough power to make the shot. As a result, wheelchair tennis players must carefully time their serves in order to be successful.

One of the most notable is that wheelchair tennis players are allowed to hit the ball outside of the court after the service. This means that if the ball lands outside of the court after the initial serve, the opponent is required to hit it back.

However, there is one important restriction in this regard: players are not allowed to touch the wheels during the serve. If they are found guilty of this action, the opponent will be given the point.

This rule ensures that wheelchair tennis players are able to compete on a level playing field with their able-bodied counterparts. 

Who Can Play Wheelchair Tennis?

Wheelchair tennis is a type of tennis adapted for people who have limited mobility in their lower limbs. The game is played with the same rules as regular tennis, but with modified equipment.

The biggest difference is that wheelchair players are allowed to bounce the ball twice before hitting it, instead of just once. This gives them more time to get into position to hit the ball.

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Wheelchair tennis is played at both the amateur and professional levels. There are wheelchair tennis tournaments all over the world, including the Paralympic Games.

Surprisingly, anyone can play wheelchair tennis, as long as they have a medical condition that limits their mobility.

How Much Do Wheelchair Tennis Players Get Paid?

Wheelchair tennis is a surprisingly lucrative sport, with professional players earning match fees and prize money for competition wins. The UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, one of the sport’s premier circuits, offers a purse of USD 3 million to its winners.

This, combined with regular match fees, can make wheelchair tennis a very profitable endeavor. Players who do well on the tour can earn a tidy sum from their appearances and winnings. As such, wheelchair tennis is definitely a sport worth considering for talented athletes.

Penalties In Wheelchair Tennis

  1. In wheelchair tennis, as in any sport, players have to be ready to compete when the match starts. That means having all of their equipment in order and set up properly. Depending on the player’s disability, that equipment can range from a simple wheelchair to an intricate system of weights, pulleys, and supports. There are also different types of tennis balls that are designed specifically for use in wheelchair tennis. Getting all of this equipment ready can be a challenge, especially for new players. But it’s important to remember that the referee has the authority to penalize a player who is not prepared to begin the match. So it’s always best to be on time and have everything in order before the match starts.
  2. While moving the wheelchair with the feet is generally not allowed, there are some exceptions to this rule. Players who are unable to move their wheelchairs with their hands can use one foot to maneuver the wheelchair, but only if they have verified their condition before the match. This exception allows players who are otherwise physically unable to move their wheelchair to still compete in the sport. However, it is important to note that this exception is only for players who are truly unable to move their wheelchair with their hands. Players who are able-bodied but choose to move their wheelchair with their feet will still be penalized. This rule is in place to ensure that all players compete on a level playing field. By ensuring that all players use their hands to move their wheelchairs, the sport remains fair and accessible to all.
  3. As anyone who has ever played tennis knows, the game can be quite demanding on equipment. Rackets take a lot of abuse from the repeated impact of the ball, and strings can break or loosen over time. Similarly, wheelchair tires can become worn or punctured, and the frame may suffer from impact damage. As a result, it’s not uncommon for players to need to make repairs during a match. In fact, the governing rules of tennis allow for players to receive up to 20 minutes of repair time per issue. So whether it’s fixing a flat tire or restringing a racket, players have to be prepared to make quick repairs if they want to stay in the game. Of course, not everyone is equally adept at making repairs, and some players may find themselves at a disadvantage if their equipment breaks down.
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Types Of Tennis Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs come in all shapes and sizes these days. With so many different options on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. If you’re looking for a wheelchair that can’t be customized, you might want to consider a fixed wheelchair.

These types of wheelchairs are specifically designed to meet a person’s size and comfort requirements. They’re often used by professional athletes who need a wheelchair that meets their specific needs. In most cases, athletes will provide the dimensions and special adjustments they need to their wheelchair.

If you’re looking for a wheelchair that can’t be customized, a fixed wheelchair might be the right option for you.

Customizable wheelchairs are not only more comfortable for young athletes, but they also offer unmatched levels of support. By being able to adjust the wheelchair to the changing needs of the user, customizable wheelchairs provide a level of stability that is unmatched by any other type of wheelchair on the market.

In addition, the ability to change the seat and backrest attachments also allows for a greater range of motion, giving young athletes the ability to participate in a wider variety of activities.

As a result, customizable wheelchairs are an essential piece of equipment for any young athlete who is looking to stay active and engaged in their sport.

The Seats

The seat, or bucket, as it is sometimes called, is what allows the athlete to balance. A major portion of a player’s success depends on how well they’re able to stabilize their movements.

To be able to do that, it is important to have a seat with the right kind of angle and escalation. The first angle is the one that is inclined above. Basically, the seat is escalated and the player is slightly positioned towards the sky. This allows greater stability and is more suited to players with minimal core functioning.

The second angle is where the player’s legs are horizontal to the ground and their backside is elevated higher than their head and shoulders. This type of positioning puts more pressure on the hamstrings and glutes and requires more strength from those muscles.

It also improves reaction time because the athlete’s head is in a better position to see what’s going on around them.

Lastly, there is the third angle which has the player’s legs at a 90-degree angle and their bottom almost touching the ground.

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This gives them the lowest center of gravity possible and makes them less likely to tip over.

When you think about the design of a traditional sports chair, it’s easy to assume that the back of the seat is there for support. However, many athletes find that a seat with a declining backrest can actually be more beneficial.

The declined seating allows the player to shift their weight towards the center of the ground, which can be a great advantage if they’re looking to focus on movement and mobility.

Facing towards the ground also gives the player more control over their movements.

This type of setting is particularly well-suited for athletes who have an amputation or who have relatively greater core functioning.

Seat Height

Seat height is an important consideration for any tennis player. A higher seat can provide players with extra reach and power, while also allowing them to see the court boundaries more clearly.

However, a higher seat can also be less stable and may make it more difficult for players to maintain their balance.

Ultimately, the ideal seat height will vary depending on the individual player’s needs and preferences. Players should experiment with different seat heights to find the option that best suits their style of play.

The relationship between a player’s seat height and power shots is an interesting one. Low backrests tend to support players who heavily rely on serves and power shots to win games.

However, players who use these shots more frequently will become prone to losing their stamina more quickly. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on the situation.

If a player can do enough damage while they still have energy, their chances of winning will be much higher. However, if their opponents are able to outlast them, they may be at a disadvantage.

It is important for players to find a balance between using their power shots and conserving their energy in order to be successful.


Wheelchairs are an important part of many people’s lives, providing mobility and independence. For athletes, however, wheelchairs can also be a vital piece of equipment. In customizable wheelchairs, the frame can be adjusted for it to be used by a number of players.

The structure itself can also be folded which makes it easier to pack and store. Whereas, the problem with a resizable frame is that it tends to be heavier which can, in turn, affect a player’s movement speed on it. Being heavier means that it would require a greater amount of force to be able to move.

Even if it does move, the acceleration will be slower, thereby increasing the risk of the player not being able to reach the ball on time. However, despite these disadvantages, customizable wheelchairs offer a number of benefits that make them desirable for athletes.

With careful consideration of the pros and cons, customizable wheelchairs can be a great choice for athletes who need them.

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While a fixed frame has the benefit of being lighter in mass, the materials used to create it are also stronger which makes it more durable in the long run. The problem, however, is its cost. Fixed frames are more expensive to repair and maintain compared to their customizable version.

This only makes them suitable for veterans rather than young tennis stars whose shape and size may render the frame to become useless with time. While a lighter racket may be an advantage for some players, the benefits of a fixed frame may be outweighed by its cost for others.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual player to decide what type of racket is best for them.


The footplate of a wheelchair is the flat surface where an athlete’s feet are placed. There are two strategic styles where the footplate is set that support a variety of aspects. The first style is where the footplate is placed at the front of the wheelchair for stability and balance.

The positioning of the knees allowing better handling of the wheelchair. At the same time, however, mobility is compromised alongside rotation speed. Rotating the wheelchair gives that extra handling edge and can even turn out to be the difference at the end of the game.

The second style is where the footplate is placed at the back of the wheelchair.

This gives more mobility to the athlete but sacrifices some stability. It all comes down to what works best for each individual athlete and what they need to perform at their best.

Wheel Sizes

The 26-inch wheels provide a happy medium for both speed and control. The turn ratio is not as great as the 24 & 25-inch wheels, so players have to put in more effort to change directions quickly.

However, the additional width of the tire provides more stability and grip on the court, allowing players to lean into their turns without losing traction. The 26-inch wheels also offer a higher top speed than the smaller wheels, making them a popular choice among competitive players.

Finally, the 27 & 28-inch wheels are the largest size available. These wheels are very stable and provide excellent grip on the court, making them ideal for players who prioritize control over speed.

However, the extra width of the tires makes them more difficult to maneuver, and the increased weight can make the wheelchair harder to push.

As a result, these wheels are best suited for experienced players who have mastered the basics of wheelchair tennis.

Some Facts About Wheelchair Tennis

The sport is played with the same rules as regular tennis, but there are some differences in the equipment and how the game is played.

  • For example, wheelchair tennis players use specially designed wheelchairs that have very low friction wheels. This allows them to move quickly around the court.
  • In addition, the wheelchairs are also equipped with special devices that help the players hit the ball over the net. The reason why this rule is so essential is because of how wheelchair tennis players move.
  • The players, in this format of the game, take slightly longer to move around and turn because they have to cater to their wheelchairs. For example, a player reaching for the ball would first have to apply force to turn their wheelchair around and then drag it towards the ball. This process can cause a slight delay in the timing, affecting the performances of disabled athletes.
  • However, with practice and training, wheelchair tennis players can develop the skills necessary to compete at a high level. Wheelchair tennis is an exciting and challenging sport that provides opportunities for athletes with disabilities to compete against each other.
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The Rules Of Wheelchair Tennis

In wheelchair tennis, the same basic rules apply as in regular tennis. However, there are a few key differences that players need to be aware of.

  • Perhaps the most significant difference is that wheelchair tennis is played with a modified ball that is slower and bounces lower than a regular tennis ball. This makes the game more accessible for players with mobility impairments.
  • In addition, wheelchair tennis players are allowed two bounces of the ball before it must be returned, as opposed to the one-bounce rule that applies to regular tennis.
  • These modifications help to level the playing field and make the game more enjoyable for all participants. Whether you’re a seasoned tennis pro or just getting started, wheelchair tennis is a great way to get active and have fun.
  • Wheelchair tennis is a Paralympic sport played with two players in wheelchairs. The object of the game is to hit the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court. The player who wins the greatest number of sets is the victor.
  • Wheelchair tennis is played on a regular tennis court with a net that is three feet high. The ball can be played off the ground or bounced off the BounceRite, which is a device that attaches to the wheelchair.
  • The first bounce must be within the boundaries of the court; thereafter, any number of bounces may be used so long as they are within bounds.
  • A player has two opportunities to hit the ball before it must go over the net.
  • Players can use any part of their body or wheelchair to hit the ball, but they cannot touch it more than twice before it goes over the net.
  • If the ball hits the ground more than once, it is considered a dead ball and cannot be played. A player may not hold or catch the ball in their clothing or wheelchair. If a player does so, it is considered a fault and they will lose the point.
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Wheelchair tennis is a sport that is rapidly growing in popularity. Unlike traditional tennis, it is played by athletes who are seated in wheelchairs. Despite the fact that it has only been around since 1976, wheelchair tennis is now played in more than 80 countries.

The game is governed by the International Tennis Federation, which sets up tournaments throughout the year. These tournaments take place in different regions and include both singles and doubles competitions for both men and women. In addition, there is also a quad category for athletes with more severe disabilities.

While wheelchair tennis is still relatively new, it has already become a highly competitive sport with athletes from all over the world vying for titles.

Quad Division vs Open Division Play

  1. The Quad division is for players with a disability that has caused them to lose function in both their upper and lower limbs. In wheelchair tennis, the quad class is competed using a larger tennis ball, and players are allowed to let the ball bounce twice before returning it. The main reason for the double bounce rule is that it gives quad players more time to get to the ball. Although there are only two divisions in wheelchair tennis, each category is extremely diverse. Players of all ages and disabilities compete in both the Open and Quad division. Whether you are an amputee, have paralysis, or suffer from cerebral palsy, there is a spot for you in wheelchair tennis.

The Open division is for players who suffer from a permanent disability that has caused them to lose function in either one or both legs. Examples of conditions that would place a player in the Open division include, but are not limited to, Paralympic singe and double above knee amputees, certain cerebral palsy conditions, and mobility impairments resulting from polio.

However, players under this category are to have a working upper body system; in other words, the Open class is for players whose lower limbs have been impaired or who suffer from a disability in the legs. This does not mean that players must have full use of their arms and shoulders, but they must be able to demonstrate sufficient strength, range of motion, and coordination to safely compete in wheelchair rugby.

The Open division is the most physically challenging of the three divisions, as it requires the greatest amount of upper-body strength and dexterity.

As a result, Open division players are often some of the most highly skilled and competitive wheelchair tennis athletes in the world.

The Quad division of Wheelchair Tennis is one of the most physically demanding and exclusive divisions in the sport. In order to compete in the Quad division, athletes must have a disability in at least three or more limbs. This includes impairments to the arms, hands, and shoulders, as well as the legs.

The Quad division is unique in that it is not restricted to lower-body disabilities; rather, it includes athletes who have difficulty or are unable to move their tennis racquet in an appropriate manner. As a result, the Quad division is highly competitive and requires a great deal of athleticism and skill.

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While the Quad division may be physically demanding, it is also incredibly rewarding. The Quad division provides athletes with an opportunity to compete at the highest level of Wheelchair Tennis.

In addition, the Quad division offers athletes a chance to interact with and learn from other athletes with similar disabilities. The Quad division is an important part of Wheelchair Tennis and provides athletes with an opportunity to showcase their talents and skills.

How Fast Do Wheelchair Tennis Players Serve?

Professional wheelchair tennis players are some of the fastest servers in tennis. They have been measured to serve at speeds of over 100 miles per hour. This is due to a combination of factors, including the lightweight nature of their chairs and the fact that they are able to generate more power with their upper body.

While these speeds may seem impressive, they are still well below the world record for the fastest tennis serve, which was clocked at 163 miles per hour. Nevertheless, wheelchair tennis players are able to compete at the highest levels thanks to their incredible serve speeds.

Is There Mixed Doubles Wheelchair Tennis?

Who says tennis has to be a solo sport? In wheelchair tennis, players have the opportunity to compete in both singles and doubles matches, as well as mixed doubles. That’s right – mixed doubles! mixed doubles is a unique format of the game that pairs up players of different genders on each team.

This format is featured in the Paralympics, so it’s definitely a competitive way to play the game.

Whether you’re looking for a fun way to mix up your tennis game or you’re aiming for the gold, mixed doubles is definitely worth giving a try.

Who Is The Most Famous Player in Wheelchair Tennis?

Shingo Kunieda is a Japanese wheelchair tennis player who is currently ranked as the world No. 1. He has won numerous Grand Slam singles titles, including Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open.

Kunieda is also a two-time Paralympic gold medalist, having won both the singles and doubles competitions at the 2008 Beijing Games. Kunieda’s success on the court has helped to raise the profile of wheelchair tennis around the world.

Ether Vergeer is a retired Dutch wheelchair tennis player who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. During her career, she won an astounding 48 Grand Slam singles titles.

She also held the world’s No. 1 ranking for an unprecedented period of time, peaking at over 700 weeks. Following her retirement in 2013, Vergeer was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017.

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