Wheelchair tennis has had its iconic mega heroes
in the past such as Brad Parks and Esther Vergeer. Now with the US Open
fast approaching, the Anglo-Japanese partnership of Jordanne
Whiley and Yui Kamiji are intent on making their own piece of tennis
history at New York’s Flushing Meadows by completing a classic Grand
Slam of women’s doubles titles.
Whiley and Kamiji, have already triumphed at the
Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year and will bid to
emulate the Dutch duo of Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot who won all
four Grand Slam event women’s doubles titles in the same season in 2013.
However it was Whiley and Kamiji who came out on top when the two teams
met in the finals at Roland Garros and the All England Club in recent
“It’s been a remarkable year already and, after
achieving a childhood dream becoming the first British woman to win a
Grand Slam wheelchair tennis title at Wimbledon, I’m so excited for the
opportunity me and Yui have to win the set of all four major titles,”
said Whiley, whose Wimbledon victory took her to No.2 in the women’s
doubles world rankings, directly behind Kamiji.
“Winning all the Grand Slams would be amazing.
That's the aim for this year.”
Geraint Richard, the Tennis Foundation’s Head of
Disability Player Performance, said: “Jordanne’s success at Wimbledon
with Yui really put wheelchair tennis in the spotlight. We hope that
that success will continue in New York and that more and more people
will be inspired to take up this fantastic sport that offer
opportunities to play at all levels as part of a healthy and active
Whiley was named after the American basketball
icon Michael Jordan. But there the similarity ends because unlike the
NBA megastar, the 22-year-old from Birmingham has never been able to run
or jump. She was born with Osteogenesis
imperfecta or brittle bone disease in her lower limbs and has
suffered broken legs on 26 occasions.
Whiley’s father Keith also suffers from brittle
bone disease and won a bronze medal in the 100m sprint at the 1984
Paralympics in Los Angeles. He took up tennis after retiring from the
track and proved an inspiration to his daughter.
Jordanne insisted: “I've always been close to my
dad. "Because he's got the same condition, he knows the excruciating
pain that I can be in sometimes. And he's still a pretty cool dude. He
just doesn't seem to get any older and he's got all the latest tennis