2013 ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters

London, April 02, 2013: The ITF today announced that Mission Viejo in Southern California, USA will host the 2013 ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, on 7-11 November at the newly renovated Marguerite Tennis Pavilion.

The ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters is the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis doubles event. First staged in 2000, the season-ending event currently features the world’s top eight men’s pairs, top six women’s pairs and top four quad pairs. USA becomes only the third country after Italy and Netherlands to host the tournament since it became a standalone event in 2003.

The official tournament website was also launched today:www.itfwheelchairdoublesmasters.com.

Mission Viejo has long supported wheelchair tennis, and for the last six years has hosted the ITF Cruyff Foundation Junior Wheelchair Camp for the Americas in association with the USTA. In 2012, 25 players from seven countries took part in the camp.

Brad Parks, the founder of wheelchair tennis and an ITF Wheelchair Tennis Ambassador, has been named Honorary Chair of the 2013 ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters. Parks hails from the nearby city of San Clemente.

“I am delighted that Mission Viejo will become the first city outside Europe to host the ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “It is fitting that this prestigious event should be staged in a part of the world so closely linked to the history of wheelchair tennis. As a strong supporter of doubles play, the ITF is pleased to see the continued success of this discipline within wheelchair tennis.”

“Wheelchair tennis has its roots in Southern California,” said Brad Parks. “For 20 years, the US Open USTA Wheelchair Tennis Championships, a premier international wheelchair tennis tournament, was held in Irvine. Mission Viejo was the site of our first junior wheelchair tennis and sports camp in 1980, and the camp continues today. There has been a strong relationship between Mission Viejo and wheelchair tennis for so many years and to be able to bring back a major wheelchair tennis event here to Mission Viejo and Southern California is incredible.”

The 2013 ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters has also received the support of 1989 Roland Garros champion Michael Chang, also a resident of Mission Viejo, who became the youngest-ever male player to win a Grand Slam singles title at the age of 17.

“It’s so exciting to be able to have the ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters for the first time in the US and right here in Mission Viejo,” said Chang. “I would encourage everyone to come and watch this special event as the best wheelchair tennis players from around the world compete and battle it out. If you haven’t seen wheelchair tennis at its best, you’re missing out as these players are truly amazing.”

“Mission Viejo is honored to be the first US city to host such a prestigious and special event,” said Rhonda Reardon, Mayor of the City of Mission Viejo. “It is our privilege to showcase such determined and highly skilled competitors who bring new meaning to the words excellence and inspirational. These athletes are shining examples of rising above some of the limitations life imposes on us.” —- ITF

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