NEW YORK CITY – Rob Shaw, Canada’s top wheelchair tennis player, reached another milestone this week as he competed in the open quad division at the U.S. Open.
Shaw was the only player in this year’s quad singles field to be making his Grand Slam debut. He lost his first round match Wednesday to world number-one Niels Vink of the Netherlands, the runner up at the Wimbledon final in July, 6-2, 6-0
The 31-year-old Canadian from North Bay, Ont., who completed a PhD in Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia in 2021, lost to Vink in their previous encounter in 2019 but beat him in their other two matchups in 2018.
Shaw, injured in a diving accident at age 21, has enjoyed a strong 2022 season with five tournament victories including three on foreign soil: South Korea and Germany in July and in Israel in June.
Last summer in Tokyo, he made his Paralympic Games debut and lost in the first round to Lapthorne.
At his first multi-sport Games, Shaw won the gold in the men's quad category in wheelchair tennis at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru. Shaw did it in grand style as well defeating Wagner, the world number-one at the time and a player he had never beaten before.
With that win, he made Canadian tennis history by becoming the first player, in stand-up or wheelchair tennis, to win a multi-sport medal in singles competition.
Shaw, who has won 132 career matches and lost 55, reached the top 10 world rankings for the first time in 2018 and is now at a career high seventh.
This summer's US Open is an historic one for wheelchair tennis: It will not only boast the largest player field in Grand Slam history, but will also feature a junior competition—a first for tennis' four biggest events.
This is the second consecutive year that the US Open is expanding its wheelchair field. In advance of the 2021 US Open, the quad draw was doubled in size from four to eight competitors.
The men's and women's singles fields will also double in 2022, each consisting of 16 players, with eight doubles teams in each draw.
‘’These larger draw sizes will not only provide more professional wheelchair tennis players the opportunity to compete on the Grand Slam stage, but to earn valuable ranking points and prize money as well,’’ stated the U.S. Open website.