Great Britain will host its highest status of tournaments yet on the ITF’s 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, with the Tennis Foundation delighted to announce that October’s Nottingham Indoor tournament has been upgraded to ITF 1 Series status for the first time.
There will now be more world ranking points available to the world’s top players at next year’s indoor event at Nottingham Tennis Centre, which saw world No.2 Maikel Scheffers and world No.5 Jiske Griffioen claim titles there this weekend.
The 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour features seven British-based tournaments with July’s British Open, also held in Nottingham and organised by the Tennis Foundation, retaining its Super Series status as one of the top six standalone wheelchair tennis tournaments in the world outside of those held at the Grand Slams.
There was more good news as February’s North East Wheelchair Tennis Tournament in Sunderland and North West Challenge in South Ribble have been upgraded to ITF 2 Series and ITF 3 Series respectively, while Sheffield will host its first NEC Tour event, an ITF Futures Series tournament, in March.
Elsewhere, the Cardiff Wheelchair Tennis Tournament retains its ITF Futures Series status.
“The Tennis Foundation has a proven record of organising high quality tennis events across the board and with the upgrade of the Nottingham Indoor we are delighted that our two tournaments in Nottingham now occupy the two highest tiers on the NEC Tour below the Grand Slams,” said Geoff Newton, Executive Director of the Tennis Foundation.
“With wheelchair tennis having been exceedingly popular with fans at Wimbledon for many years and wheelchair tennis at London 2012 having proved so successful, the new roster of tournaments confirmed in 2013 enhances Britain’s reputation as a leading wheelchair tennis nation.”
In addition, the Tennis Foundation will once again sanction and support a Wheelchair Tennis Development Series consisting of tournaments across the country aimed at developing players before they make the next step up to ITF events.
“The Development Series is vital to be able to grow wheelchair tennis competitively across Great Britain and these events provide a great chance for those who have less experience to enjoy some competitive action and develop as players through our talent identification programme,” added the Tennis Foundation’s Competition and Events Manager, Sandra King.