Aim of the game
Using a racket, players must hit the ball over the net into their opponent's half of the court, scoring points if their rival does not manage to return it
Why should you watch this?
If you are a tennis fan, you will love this thrilling version of the sport and be amazed by the ability and agility of the players
A term used when a player loses a set 6-0 – to lose 6-0, 6-0 is a 'double bagel'
A lengthy exchange of the ball over the net, this term is also used in other sports, such as volleyball and badminton
A shot in which the player hits the ball back over the net before it bounces – it is usually played from near the net
Impress your friends
Wheelchair tennis was created in 1976 by Brad Parks and Jeff Minnenbraker, two wheelchair users from the USA
In 1977, Parks personalised his wheelchair and began promoting the sport with Minnenbraker – by 1980, there were more than 300 players in the USA
The Wheelchair Tennis Federation was established in 1988 and wheelchair tennis was a demonstration sport at the Seoul Paralympic Games that year
Brad Parks, one of the sport's creators, won a doubles gold medal alongside Randy Snow at the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games
Australian David Hall harnessed the support of his home city at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games to win two medals: singles gold and doubles silver
Esther Vergeer won a fourth consecutive women's singles title at London 2012 Games – the Dutchwoman was unbeaten in all competitions for more than 10 years
Japan is strong in the singles competitions, thanks to Shingo Kunieda and Yui Kamiji in the men's and women's events respectively
The Netherlands has won all 12 Paralympic gold medals awarded to date in the women's singles and doubles, with Esther Vergeer leading the charge
One of the creators of wheelchair tennis, Brad Parks, was an acrobatic skier who suffered a bad accident and developed the sport as part of his rehabilitation
While Olympic tennis players usually put spare balls in their pockets, Paralympic players wedge them into their wheels
When a player does not have any points their score is called 'love' – it's nothing to do with romance, but in reference to the egg-like shape of the number 0 – 'l'oeuf' in French
Esther Vergeer's unbeaten run – 470 wins between January 2003 and her retirement in 2013 – is the longest in professional sport
A coin is tossed and the winner can choose if they want to serve or receive first, leaving their opponent to decide which end they start at. If the winner prefers to choose ends, their opponent decides whether to serve or receive first.
The first serve of each game is taken from the right-hand side of the court, with subsequent serves alternating sides. The ball must cross the court (right to left, or left to right) and bounce inside the opponent’s service box.
A player has two attempts to serve on each point: the first is usually faster, the second is generally more conservative – because a ‘double fault’ loses the point.
Wheelchair tennis rules are the same as for Olympic tennis, except for the ball can bounce twice before it is returned.
The first point is called 15, the second 30 and the third 40. The player who wins the next point wins the game, but it must be by a two-point margin. If the score is tied at 40-40, it is called ‘deuce’ and a player must win another point, called ‘advantage’, before they can win the game.
The first player to reach six games – by a margin of at least two games – wins the set. If a set is tied at 5-5, one of the players must win 7-5.
Matches are contested in the best of three sets. The tie-break is used to decide a set that is tied at 6-6. The first player to reach seven points, by a margin of at least two points, wins the tie-break and set.
The ball is made of rubber and covered by felt hairs, it weighs 56 to 59.4g and has a diameter of 6.5 to 7.3cm. After the two halves have been glued together, a nitrogen tablet is heated until it bursts inside, filling the ball with a gas that makes it bounce.
The frame of the racket is almost always made of carbon materials. Most top players use strings made of natural tripe – the intestines of cows or sheep. The maximum racket length is 73.7cm, maximum width is 31.7cm and average weight is 300g.
Players use sports wheelchairs with wheels adapted for better balance and mobility.
The net must be 1.07m high at the sides of the court, but at the centre of the court it is naturally slightly lower, at 0.914m.
Open – Players have an impairment affecting one or both legs, but maintain full use of both arms.
Quad – Players have an impairment affecting their playing arm as well as their legs.
Athletes & Teams
|16 - 20||5|
|21 - 25||19|
|26 - 30||24|
|31 - 40||31|