Niclas Rodhblom (förbundskapten) och Peter Rejmer (tävlingsanordnare). Foto: Stefan Hesserud-Persson/Sveriges Radio
Niclas Rodhblom (team captain) and Peter Rejmer (tournament director). Photo: Stefan Hesserud-Persson/Sveriges Radio

Swedish Open in wheelchair tennis attracts the elite

"This is one of the reasons why wheelchair tennis has become some popular"
0:34 min

Paralympic gold medalists can be seen in action at the inaugural Swedish Open in wheelchair tennis in Uppsala this weekend.

The event, part of the ITF level 3 Wheelchair Tennis Tour, has attracted entries from 19 countries, including Sweden's own London paralympic gold doubles pair, Stefan Olsson and Peter Vikström.

Wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis, except the ball is allowed to bounce twice. The second bounce can be either inside or outside the court boundaries.

"This is one of the reasons wheelchair tennis has become so popular - people in a chair can easily play against able-bodied friends," says Tournament Director Peter Rejmer to Radio Sweden.

"For us, this tournament is a new thing. We had a tournament in Sweden in 2007, the World Team Championships, so we are very happy to have this tournament here. It's a decent level and we are happy that we have many players doing really well and now they have a a chance to play at home."

Entry is free to watch the tennis tournament, which began on Thusrday and ends on Sunday.

Wheelchair tennis took off in the 70s thanks to American Brad Parks who realised the potential of this new sport. 

The specially-designed wheelchairs that competitors use cost between SEK 50,000 to 70,000.

There is a professional wheelchair tour where players compete in tournaments all over the world for prize money. But the pinnacle of the sport is the Paralympic Games.

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