Draws made for 2022 Wheelchair Singles and Doubles Masters
Americans Casey Ratzlaff and David Wagner have learned who'll they'll face in round-robin play at the season-ending NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters and ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters, with singles play set to begin on Sunday in Oss, Netherlands.
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.
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 to crown the year-end champion.
The ITF announced that both Americans qualified for the field last month; having won each event 11 times in his career, Wagner again qualified for both singles and doubles by virtue of his world ranking on Sept. 12, while Ratzlaff is making his second straight appearance in the doubles event.
Seeking a record-extending 12th quad singles title at the event, Wagner landed in Group A for pool play in Oss. Joining him there is Roland Garros and US Open winner and world No. 1 Niels Vink, the defending champion, as well as South Africa's Donald Ramphadi, making his debut at the year-end event, and Brazil's Ymanitu Silva.
Wagner will have to overcome some adversity should he want to advance to the knockout rounds. Since beating Vink in the final of this event in 2019, Wagner has lost seven straight matches against the young Dutch star, and hasn't won more than four games in any of those 14 sets. He also has a losing record against Ramphadi (4-2), but boasts a 14-2 winning head-to-head against Silva. Wagner and Silva will also pair up in doubles.
Ratzlaff and his 17-year-old British partner Dahnon Ward landed in Group B in the men's doubles draw. They're playing together for the first time, and will have opportunity in an open field that doesn't feature any of the three pairs that won Grand Slam titles in 2022.
Consensus world No. 1 Alfie Hewett is partnering Dutchman Maikel Scheffers on account of a wrist injury to his regular partner, compatriot Gordon Reid, and that pair leads Group B; in addition, one half of the US Open-winning team, No. 2-ranked Martin de la Puente of Spain, leads Group A, but he is partnered this week with fifth-ranked Argentine Gustavo Fernandez. (His partner in New York, France's Nicolas Peifer, is not competing.)
Wagner will face Ramphadi on the opening day of the event on Sunday, Oct. 30; doubles play will begin for both men on Monday, Oct. 31.
The events will be held from Oct. 30 through Nov. 6 at the Rusheuvel Sports Center (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.
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