Team USA Wheelchair Tennis Ready
For Para Pan American Games
Jason Allen | August 9, 2019
Team USA Wheelchair Tennis is getting ready to compete in the Para Pan American Games during the last week of August. This competition is held every four years and is a qualifying event for the Paralympics. This year, the games are being held in Lima, Peru. The Para Pan American games follow the able-bodied Pan American Games which concluded Aug. 4.
Tennis is among more than a dozen sports that will be represented.
Team USA Wheelchair tennis will have representation in three events: Men’s, Women’s, and Quad tennis. The men’s team will debut Casey Ratzlaff and Chris Herman. Ratzlaff is the No. 1-ranked American male and is currently No. 26 in the world. He hails from Wichita, Kan., and currently attends Wichita State University. Herman is ranked No. 2 in the USA and No. 71 in the world. He is a student at the University of Florida and resides in Gainesville, Fla.ADVERTISEMENT
The women’s team is led by Dana Mathewson, from San Diego. She currently resides in London, England, while pursuing a Master’s degree. Mathewson is the No. 1 American female and No. 16 in the world. She recently received the wildcard to the US Open and will be competing in New York directly after the games. Emmy Kaiser will round out the women’s team. She is the No. 2-ranked American and No. 25 in the world.
An exciting aspect of these games is that for the first time ever, there will be a Quad division. Leading the quad team will be David Wagner, one of the most successful American tennis players of all time with multiple Grand Slam championships and Paralympic gold medals. He is the No. 1-ranked American quad and No. 2 in the world. His teammate this year will be Bryan Barten of Tucson, Ariz., the No. 2-ranked American quad and No. 12 in the world. Barten also received a wildcard to the US Open this year and will join Wagner and Mathewson in New York.
“We are excited about this trip down to Lima,” said Jason Harnett, head coach of Team USA wheelchair. “I am sure the games will be great and our athletes will perform well. We will be hosting most of the team at the USTA National Campus to have a pre-games training camp on the red clay at USTA Player Development. We plan to be as professional as possible and bring a high level of play so that we can represent our country well.”