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Post Info TOPIC: 2023 ITF Wheelchair Tour
Jan


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2023 ITF Wheelchair Tour


Fabulous Alfie!!

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Lovely scenes at the end

www.eurosport.co.uk/tennis/australian-open/2023/watch-emotional-moment-britain-s-alfie-hewett-clinches-first-australian-open-wheelchair-singles-title_vid1823222/video.shtml

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OK, at Jon's request and as it is true that this is a better place than hijacking the PoM thread, which I was trying not to do, here's a copy and paste of the relevant parts of the conversation.

I've also added Indy's comment (hope that's OK, Indy) 


ME: I don't follow wheelchair tennis and actually have certain issues with transparency in wheelchair tennis anyway)

JON: Maybe one for the wheelchair section, CD, but you wont read it probably ! What are your concerns re transparency in wheelchair tennis?

ME: I find the marketing a little questionable, given that extremely few (none?) of the players actually need wheelchairs in real life (they used to walk up to collect their trophies and I was told by an LTA bod that the authorities changed it - which is just a marketing ploy, and rather a cheap one IMO)

JON: Ok - I have no insight on that. I know players like Alfie can walk in a limited way but couldnt play tennis without a chair. Ie the chair is needed to be able to even move adequately let alone play to a high standard. Quads players are I believe fully disabled with limitations in all 4 limbs. Cant comment on anyone else.

ME: I'm not querying the rules - all the players qualify for wheelchair tennis based on a list of medical rules which are (I expect, I'm no medic) fine and well thought out.

But the organisers want to perpetuate the myth that all the players are wheelchair bound, as opposed to wheelchair players. I've been at events where the wheelchair guys are all walking to their cars after, larking about, dragging their chairs with one hand, or pushing them, or even carrying them under their arm. And, again, no complaint - in fact, it's great.

BUT they're not allowed to go and collect their trophies like that because (supposedly and probably true) it risks losing support. So it's the authorities who run the sport that I don't approve of, not the players.

INDY: Interesting. Though sort of by the way and not Alfie's fault. For me, just such a small group and overall there isn't any equivalence of Seniorrls vs Juniots vs Wheelchairs, before even considering different levels wirhin these categories, so I certainly don't count titles of Player A vs Player B or work to any formula / rule - Of course I watch and look at results snd they are part of my condideration but the impact of other matters often swings my vote - eg. a previous Slam winner who exited the Aussie Open in R3 this year.


Great what the wheelchair players produce but as I have said before 'just' winning all they can win won't get them on my personal radar as PoM or PoS.



-- Edited by Coup Droit on Sunday 29th of January 2023 10:44:16 PM

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Coup Droit wrote:


OK, at Jon's request and as it is true that this is a better place than hijacking the PoM thread, which I was trying not to do, here's a copy and paste of the relevant parts of the conversation:


ME: I don't follow wheelchair tennis and actually have certain issues with transparency in wheelchair tennis anyway)

JON: Maybe one for the wheelchair section, CD, but you wont read it probably ! What are your concerns re transparency in wheelchair tennis?

ME: I find the marketing a little questionable, given that extremely few (none?) of the players actually need wheelchairs in real life (they used to walk up to collect their trophies and I was told by an LTA bod that the authorities changed it - which is just a marketing ploy, and rather a cheap one IMO)

JON: Ok - I have no insight on that. I know players like Alfie can walk in a limited way but couldnt play tennis without a chair. Ie the chair is needed to be able to even move adequately let alone play to a high standard. Quads players are I believe fully disabled with limitations in all 4 limbs. Cant comment on anyone else.

ME: I'm not querying the rules - all the players qualify for wheelchair tennis based on a list of medical rules which are (I expect, I'm no medic) fine and well thought out.

But the organisers want to perpetuate the myth that all the players are wheelchair bound, as opposed to wheelchair players. I've been at events where the wheelchair guys are all walking to their cars after, larking about, dragging their chairs with one hand, or pushing them, or even carrying them under their arm. And, again, no complaint - in fact, it's great.

BUT they're not allowed to go and collect their trophies like that because (supposedly and probably true) it risks losing support. So it's the authorities who run the sport that I don't approve of, not the players.


 Oh ok, I had no idea and if thats the case generally, that is a shame. Ill try and read

some more on that. 

 



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PLEASE NOTE this is nothing personal agains the players.

All of them have some serious mobility issues, obviously.

And some may be wheelchair-bound.

And the ITF have been trying to tighten the rules because they realised it was a problem - so maybe it is better now

Indeed, Alfie himself was almost thrown out of wheelchair tennis in 2021 - they said his Perthes disease was not serious enough - and he appealed, and got reclassified or something, and won and so is there by right.

See:

www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/nov/22/floods-of-tears-wheelchair-tennis-star-alfie-hewett-cleared-to-keep-playing

So, again, Alfie's success is brilliant - the sport is what the sport is and eveyone comes under the same rules, as decided by the powers who be, for the best of the sport, and the players can only play within those rules. All power to them. And to him.

But I have issues with the federation and the way it wants to portray the sport (or the way it did, a few years back - maybe it's different now......)

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Coup Droit wrote:

PLEASE NOTE this is nothing personal agains the players.

All of them have some serious mobility issues, obviously.

And some may be wheelchair-bound.

And the ITF have been trying to tighten the rules because they realised it was a problem - so maybe it is better now

Indeed, Alfie himself was almost thrown out of wheelchair tennis in 2021 - they said his Perthes disease was not serious enough - and he appealed, and got reclassified or something, and won and so is there by right.

See:

www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/nov/22/floods-of-tears-wheelchair-tennis-star-alfie-hewett-cleared-to-keep-playing

So, again, Alfie's success is brilliant - the sport is what the sport is and eveyone comes under the same rules, as decided by the powers who be, for the best of the sport, and the players can only play within those rules. All power to them. And to him.

But I have issues with the federation and the way it wants to portray the sport (or the way it did, a few years back - maybe it's different now......)


  no, I do understand - and if that happened, it was wrong . If it still happens, it is certainly wrong. Yep, I know about Alfies issues youve highlighted and it helps explain many of his emotions right now. I dont enough about the back story of others, like Gordon or Lucy, Andy or Ben, Josh and will go and try and read up! 



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For clarity, I don't know exactly which bit you're referring to being 'wrong' but I'm not saying anything is wrong, per se. I can quite understand the authorities being concerned about the 'optics' (as everyone says now). They need to be, it's a business.

And I'm absolutely not suggesting any players are 'cheating' by playing the system.

But, to take a concrete example, if a player has a lower limb amputation of one leg, they qualifiy for wheelchair Open tennis, as having a substantial impairment.

I believe these are the rules:

Open Division: Players have a permanent, substantial or total loss of function in one or both legs. They do not however have impaired upper body function.
Players with:
Spinal cord injury at the S1 level or above, associated with loss of movement;
Joint fusion and/or joint replacement of the hip, knee or upper ankle joints,
Amputation of any part of the leg above the metatarsophalangeal joint of the foot
A player with a disability in one or both legs equivalent to the above

Which is fine. They most certainly do have a substantial impairment. No question.

But they almost certainly will not be using a wheelchair in normal life - they will have a prosthetic which (generally) are pretty amazing these days.

So the sport is fine, it's great that there is a top-level competitive sport for people with such impairments, wheelchair tennis is very technical, involves a lot of skill, fitness, and there is a lot of support for the Paraolympics etc etc

But, to my mind, trying to make the audience believe that the players are wheelchair bound is rather disingenuous and alienates me





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Coup Droit wrote:

For clarity, I don't know exactly which bit you're referring to being 'wrong' but I'm not saying anything is wrong, per se. I can quite understand the authorities being concerned about the 'optics' (as everyone says now). They need to be, it's a business.

And I'm absolutely not suggesting any players are 'cheating' by playing the system.

But, to take a concrete example, if a player has a lower limb amputation of one leg, they qualifiy for wheelchair Open tennis, as having a substantial impairment.

I believe these are the rules:

Open Division: Players have a permanent, substantial or total loss of function in one or both legs. They do not however have impaired upper body function.
Players with:
Spinal cord injury at the S1 level or above, associated with loss of movement;
Joint fusion and/or joint replacement of the hip, knee or upper ankle joints,
Amputation of any part of the leg above the metatarsophalangeal joint of the foot
A player with a disability in one or both legs equivalent to the above

Which is fine. They most certainly do have a substantial impairment. No question.

But they almost certainly will not be using a wheelchair in normal life - they will have a prosthetic which (generally) are pretty amazing these days.

So the sport is fine, it's great that there is a top-level competitive sport for people with such impairments, wheelchair tennis is very technical, involves a lot of skill, fitness, and there is a lot of support for the Paraolympics etc etc

But, to my mind, trying to make the audience believe that the players are wheelchair bound is rather disingenuous and alienates me




 Its all cool - I know what youre trying to say and Im trying to say I agree , if indeed it is the case (I dont know! But dont doubt it for one bit ). I agree totally with what you say and your summary. I hope you didnt think I was disagreeing or not understanding! 



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I think Alfies Perthes disease was regarded borderline as he didnt really meet the list of things above - but he clearly couldnt play tennis without a wheelchair. I think sense prevailed.

Jordane Whiley has brittle bone disease, which presumably makes hitting the ball harder for her, but nonethless needs a wheelchair to play.

Gordon Reid was paralysed from the waste down at age 10 but apparently has recovered to be able to walk but flatteringly and cant play sport without a chair.

Lucy Shuker I cant see what her disability is Im afraid.

Andy Lapthorne plays quads as opposed to open. Which means he is impaired in the arms - but Im not sure what that actually is as Wili doesnt say!

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JonH comes home wrote:

I think Alfies Perthes disease was regarded borderline as he didnt really meet the list of things above - but he clearly couldnt play tennis without a wheelchair. I think sense prevailed.

Jordane Whiley has brittle bone disease, which presumably makes hitting the ball harder for her, but nonethless needs a wheelchair to play.

Gordon Reid was paralysed from the waste down at age 10 but apparently has recovered to be able to walk but flatteringly and cant play sport without a chair.

Lucy Shuker I cant see what her disability is Im afraid.

Andy Lapthorne plays quads as opposed to open. Which means he is impaired in the arms - but Im not sure what that actually is as Wili doesnt say!


 I should say tennis at least is simpler than many other sports like athletics or swimming. Just two divisions. Lower limb impairment or quads for upper limbs as well. 

the other sports I find seem to constantly be re classifying people and it is hard to see where players or athletes really stand relative to each other- and it creates lots of small pools. Probably little choice but it makes the paralympics often very confusing and hard to follow. 



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the big indoor event in Rotterdam starting on the 15th has some decent GB interest

In the womens, a field of 8 includes Lucy Shuker and Cornelia Oosthuizen

the mens is a 12 player field and includes Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid and Ben Bartram

Ben is getting lots of good exposure at a good level now, hope see him start getting results to raise his ranking.

The ABN Amro event is the worlds biggest indoor event and a series 1 event with something like $75k prizemoney

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Cant see a draw anywhere for Rotterdam but there is an order of play - Gordon and Ben play their opening matches tomorrow

COURT 2 start at 1.00 pm
Gordon Reid (GBR) vs Nico Langmann (AUT)

Not before 2.30 pm
Ben Bartram (GBR) vs. Martin De La Puente (ESP)

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Alfie will have a bye into the quarters

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Rotterdam womens singles draw


NED
AniekVan Koot
Versus
GBR
Lucy Shuker

GBR
CorneliaOosthuizen
Versus
JPN
YuiKamiji
[2]

7 player field

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Alfie plays the winner of Gordon Reids match. Ben is other half and plays Gerard the third seeded Belgian if he wins

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