The country’s top wheelchair tennis players will gather in Calgary this week to compete for national titles at the Birmingham National Wheelchair Tennis Championships, running from October 26-29 at the OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre.
Leading the field is two-time Paralympian Philippe Bedard, who has captured the men’s singles trophy for four straight years, following his maiden win in 2013.
Robert Shaw will be the highest-ranked competitor in this week’s action as the world No. 16 will be the top seed in the quad draw in the midst of a career season on the ITF circuit. Shaw has captured three titles this year, including a prestigious ITF Series 2 championship in September.
“Tennis Canada is thrilled to finally be able to bring the pinnacle event of Canadian wheelchair tennis to Calgary,” said Janet Petras, director of wheelchair tennis, Tennis Canada. “I would like to thank the host organizers at the OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre, and our Provincial partners Tennis Alberta and Wheelchair Sports Alberta, for ensuring the event is held in Alberta for the first time. We look forward to seeing local tennis fans come out to cheer on the competitors from across the country.”
The Birmingham National Wheelchair Tennis Championships is one of the biggest and most important wheelchair tennis events played in Canada each year and will feature competition in three divisions: men’s, women’s, and quad. Play will be hosted at Canada’s newest indoor/outdoor tennis facility, the OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre, which opened in the spring of 2016.
The tournament will kick off with Thursday’s opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. with Brandy Payne, Associate Minister of Health for the Government of Alberta on hand to help launch the four days of competition. Alberta will be represented in the tournament by a trio of local players. Calgary natives Souheil Saab and Jeffrey McCuaig are entered into the men’s draw, alongside Edmonton’s Kyle Thompson who was the 2015 Tennis Canada Most Improved Wheelchair Tennis Player of the Year.
“We are thrilled to be able to play a role in bringing the Birmingham National Wheelchair Tennis Championships to Calgary,” said Danny Da Costa, tournament director and general manager at OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre. “The event will be our first national championship hosted at our facility, and we look forward to hosting many more in the future.”
Admission is free throughout the four-day event at the OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre, with fans and local residents encouraged to come check out the high quality wheelchair tennis action in person. The final two days of play at the Birmingham National Wheelchair Tennis Championships will also be available to view online, courtesy of live streaming by PlaySight here.
Feature photo by: Mara Chaplin