Europe Feb 17, 2017
BEMMEL: The ITF has announced that Netherlands will stage two of wheelchair tennis’s major events in 2017 and 2018. The UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters will be held in Bemmel in 2017-18, while the 2018 BNP Paribas World Team Cup will take place in Apeldoorn. Both events will be hosted by the Dutch Tennis Federation (KNLTB) in the province of Gelderland.
One of the most successful nations in the history of wheelchair tennis, Netherlands has already staged several of the sport’s major events. Bemmel will become the third Dutch city to host the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters, with the first three events held in Amersfoort from 2000-02, and the 2011-2012 editions staged in Amsterdam. The 2017 event will be held in November with the dates still to be confirmed.
The UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters is the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis doubles championship. First staged in 2000 in Amersfoort alongside the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, it became a standalone event in 2003, and currently features the world’s top eight men’s pairs, top six women’s pairs and top four quad pairs. UNIQLO has been the event’s title sponsor since 2014 and has extended its sponsorship through 2021 as part of its overall agreement with the ITF.
Apeldoorn will become the fourth Dutch city to host the BNP Paribas World Team Cup, which was previously staged in Roermond in 1995, Groningen in 2005 and Alphen in 2014.
The BNP Paribas World Team Cup is the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis event, often referred to as the Davis Cup and Fed Cup of wheelchair tennis. The initial event took place in California in 1985 involving six men’s teams. The women’s competition began the following year, with quad and junior events introduced in 1998 and 2000 respectively. BNP Paribas has been the event’s title sponsor since 2012, and extended its sponsorship through 2021 as part of its overall agreement with the ITF.
The 2017 BNP Paribas World Team Cup will be held in Sardinia, Italy on 1-7 May, with Netherlands seeking to win the women’s title for a landmark 30th time.
KNLTB Chief Executive Officer Erik Poel said: “As one of the leading nations in wheelchair tennis, the KNLTB feels a responsibility to host the largest wheelchair tennis events in the Netherlands. This way we hope to continue to increase the popularity of wheelchair tennis for people with and without a disability. Furthermore, our own national heroes can show what they are capable of in front of their home fans.”
ITF President David Haggerty said: “We are delighted that the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters and BNP Paribas World Team Cup will both return to Netherlands, which has such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable wheelchair tennis following and a rich tradition of hosting the sport’s leading championships. It ls also home to some of the most celebrated players in the history of the sport.