Top Wheelchair Players Gracing Delaware Clay

wheelchair featureThis weekend, DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del. will welcome some of the Section’s best tennis players during the USTA Middle States Wheelchair Tennis Championships.

But don’t let the word “wheelchair” fool you. There’s nothing these players can’t do on the court.

“It will surprise people,” said Kathie Herel, the Director of the Wheelchair Tennis Program of Delaware. “I think people hear the word “wheelchair” before tennis and they put an image in their mind. It is a competitive event and I don’t think people realize how athletic these players are.”

The Delaware tournament is part of a circuit of national USTA-sanctioned tournaments. While the tournament is community event, it is also a very competitive tournament, with players competing for points, prize money and bragging rights.

“These athletes want to go out and win,” Herel said. “It’s fun and friendly, but when it comes down to it, it’s competition.”IMG_0260

The Championships in Delaware are unique in that it is one of the very few tournaments played on clay courts. There are 30 players in this year’s draw, with one coming from Delaware. Seven other states and numerous USTA Sections are represented.

“Athletes love this tournament,” Herel said. “They travel from all over to make a weekend of it.”

The tournament will begin with an exhibition on Friday, Sept. 26, for spectators who want to see what wheelchair tennis is about. Official tournament play will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on wheelchair and adaptive tennis, visit USTA Foundation online.

For photos from the event, check out Middle States’ Facebook page on Monday.

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