Wimbledon 2019: History beckons10.07.2019
Three players continue quest for calendar year Grand Slam
Dylan Alcott, Diede de Groot and Gustavo Fernandez continue their individual quests to become the first player in their categories to win a wheelchair tennis singles calendar year Grand Slam as Wimbledon gets underway tomorrow.
Competition at the All-England Club is set to make history as quad singles and doubles events are included on the schedule for the first time.
After winning the Australian Open in January and the first Roland Garros quad singles title in June, Alcott aims to complete the full set of Grand Slams.
The world No. 1 will line up alongside the USA’s David Wagner and Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne, two of the three players who joined him on court for last year’s quad doubles exhibition at The Championships.
Koji Sugeno of Japan completes the field of four quad division players, having made his Grand Slam debut at Roland Garros.
As at Roland Garros last month, the quad singles draw will be played as a knockout event as opposed to starting in the round-round format traditionally used at the Australian Open and US Open.
De Groot hungry
De Groot’s victory at Roland Garros last month saw the 22-year-old Dutchwoman become the first wheelchair player to hold singles titles at all four majors at the same time.
She will be aiming to complete a hat-trick of Wimbledon women’s singles titles, having beaten Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock in the 2017 final and fellow Dutchwoman Aniek va Koot in the 2018 final.
World No. 2 Yui Kamiji lost out in the semi-finals the two last years and is hoping to improve as she bids to join De Groot in completing a career Grand Slam.
Fernandez targets first Wimbledon crown
Fernandez became a four-time Grand Slam champion last month after claiming his second Roland Garros title to add to his second Australian Open title won in January.
The Argentinian was beaten by Sweden’s Stefan Olsson in two three-set finals at Wimbledon since 2017.
While Fernandez will look to make it a third Grand Slam singles title this season, Kunieda will set out in search of the only major singles title to have so far eluded him.
In the three years since wheelchair singles events made their Wimbledon debut, Olsson and Gordon Reid have shared the men’s singles title.