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Wheelchair Tennis Fans See A Grand Slam Looming At US Open







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 months.

“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 lifestyle.”

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 gear."

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