Competition in wheelchair tennis is held in singles and doubles and is comprised of two sport classes. The Open class is for athletes with lower limb impairment, while the Quad class is for those with additional upper limb impairment.

The game is played on a standard tennis court. The main rule difference with able-bodied tennis is that the ball is allowed to bounce twice before being returned (as long as the first bounce is in fair territory).

In this sport, the wheelchair is considered part of the body; therefore, all rules that apply to a player’s body also apply to the wheelchairs.

Wheelchair tennis was developed in 1976 by American Brad Parks. It was played as an exhibition sport in the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games before it was included in the Paralympic Games program at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona.

Wheelchair tennis also has an international tour. The NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour originated in 1992 with 11 international tournaments but has grown in size and popularity with over 160 tournaments taking place all over the world.

The International Tennis Federation is the governing body for Wheelchair Tennis and Tennis Canada is the National Sport Federation.


Paralympic wheelchair tennis competition is open to male and female athletes with a permanent, substantial, or total loss of function in one or both legs due to conditions such as spinal cord injury, ankylosis, amputation, or other lower limb disability.

In quad events men and women are allowed to play against each other. A player must have a disability in three or more limbs to be eligible to compete in a quad event.

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