April 22, 2014 (ISN) – Men’s and women’s world number one players Shingo Kunieda and Sabine Ellerbrock are among 14 to have received direct entries for the Roland Garros Wheelchair Tennis Event, it has been announced today.
The competition, which forms part of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Wheelchair Tennis Tour, will be held during the second week of the French Open in Paris between June 4 and June 6.
The top seven ranked male and female singles players have been named, with one wildcard place still to be announced in both events.
Leading the way on the men’s side will be Japan’s Kunieda, who was on imperious form earlier this year when winning a seventh title at the Australian Wheelchair Tennis Open.
But he will have his work cut out to see off second-ranked Stephane Houdet of France, who is the defending champion after beating Kunieda in the final for each of the last two years.
Other leading contenders will include Britain’s Gordon Reid, Belgium’s Joachim Gerard and Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez, who are in third, fourth and fifth positions respectively in the rankings.
In the women’s event, Ellerbrock of Germany heads the entries as she returns to the scene of her maiden Grand Slam title last year, when she beat Dutch rival Jiske Griffioen.
Remarkably, that made her just the second woman to win the title after the first six events were won by the now-retired Dutch legend Esther Vergeer.
Competition this time around should come from the likes of third-ranked Griffioen, as well as another Japanese contender in second-ranked Yui Kamiji.
Also in the field, at five in the rankings, will be Jordanne Whiley as she seeks to continue a year which has already seen her become the first female British winner of a wheelchair tennis Grand Slam when she finished top of the pile in Australia.
Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany leads the female entries as the number one ranked player ©Getty Images