World’s best challenge for Wheelchair Tennis titles in Hamilton

Twenty-one of Canada’s best wheelchair tennis players will challenge the rest of the world during the next four days when Hamilton hosts the Canadian Open Wheelchair Championships.

Men’s, women’s, and quad division titles will be on the line when play starts at the Hamilton Tennis Club.

Leading the Canadian charge for the 11th annual Open will be last year’s quarter finalists Yan Mathieu of Montreal and Philip Rowe of Aldegrove, Ont. Mathieu, the top-ranked player in Canada, is currently No. 33 in the world, while Rowe is right behind him at No. 41.

However, their path to the championship will be far from smooth, as they will have to get through two men ranked among the world’s Top 30: No. 12 Frederic Cazeaudumac of France and No. 28 Yoshinobu Fujimoto of Japan. The women’s draw will feature defending champion Yuka Chokyu of Vancouver. She was also last year’s winner of the Tennis Canada Excellence Award for Wheelchair Tennis Athlete of the Year.

The No. 8 ranked Chokyu leads a strong Canadian field which features No. 15 ranked Helene Simard of Charlesbourg, Quebec. Chokyu and Simard met in the final of the 2005 event.

The quad competition features three of the world’s top 10 players, No. 4 David Jordan, No. 7 Marc McLean, and No. 8 Bryan Barten, all from the United States.

They have yet to claim an Open title and will have to get past defending champion and Alberta’s Sarah Hunter. Hunter defeated Jordan in the final of the 2005 event.

The tournament will be held at the Hamilton Tennis Club, on Duke Street, for the next three years.