Casey Ratzlaff, David Wagner to compete at 2022 Wheelchair Tennis Masters
Two Americans will feature at the season-ending championships for wheelchair tennis in Oss, Netherlands next month. Casey Ratzlaff and Davis Wagner have qualified in the men's doubles, and quad singles and doubles events, respectively, at the 2022 NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters and ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters.
After two editions at the USTA National Campus in Orlando in 2019 and 2021 (the 2020 event was canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic), 2022's grand finale for the world's best wheelchair tennis players returns to the Netherlands for the first time since 2010, and the country will host the singles and doubles tournaments simultaneously for the first time since 2002.
The NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters, first held in 1994, is the year-end championship for the world’s top eight men’s, women’s and quad singles players, while the ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters began in 2000 and features the world’s eight best men’s doubles partnerships, top six women’s doubles partnerships and top four quad doubles partnerships.
Ratzlaff made his debut at the doubles event a year ago, where he partnered Chile's Alexander Cataldo, and will partner British teenage sensation Dahnon Ward at the event this year. The American-British pair ranked No. 16 and No. 27, respectively, in the world doubles ranking at the time entries closed on Sept. 12, with their combined ranking of No. 43 slotting them in the eighth and final slot. Wagner has won 11 quad singles and 11 quad doubles at the season-ending event in his storied career, both all-time records, and has been a staple in the field of each tournament since he played the first editions in 2003 (doubles) and 2004 (singles).
Formatted similarly to their ATP and WTA counterpart events, the NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters and ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters see the world's best players divided into round-robin groups before they advance to knockout rounds for the semifinals and finals.
The Americans who qualified for the field each had standout 2022 seasons. Ratzlaff captured six doubles titles on tour in 2022, a new single-season best for his career, with five different partners. He also finished as doubles runner-up at six other events, and peaked at a career-high ranking of No. 15 in May. He also added three singles titles to his career haul this year, and reached a new career-best singles ranking, also No. 15, in August.
Wagner, ranked No. 3 in both quad singles and doubles, won four singles titles and four doubles titles on tour this year. In Oss, he's slotted in the singles field behind the two top-ranked home favorites, Dutchmen Niels Vink and Sam Schroder, and will partner Brazil's Ymanitu Silva in the doubles event.
Wagner last won the year-end singles title in 2019 and the year-end doubles title in 2018. All 11 of his quad doubles titles at the Masters came with longtime partner Nick Taylor, who retired from tennis at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
The draws for the 2022 NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters and ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters will be made on Oct. 29, and the events will be held from Oct. 30 through Nov. 6 at the Rusheuvel Sports Centre (Sportcentrum De Rusheuvel) in Oss. The doubles finals will be played on Nov. 5 with the singles finals to conclude the competition on Nov. 6.
Both events will be streamed live on the ITF website and digital channels.