paralympics
Wheelchair Tennis

Diede de Groot of the Netherlands plays in the women's wheelchair tennis singles bronze medal match at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Bob Martin/Getty Images)

What's it all about?

Maybe you’ve hit the court IRL or on your console for a little serve, volley, rally and SMASH action! If you love intense, nail-biting, energetic battles of back-and-forth racquet play, you have to check out wheelchair tennis!

How it's played

Things to watch for

one athlete in front of the line goes to hit the ball and the athlete behind the line watches
Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley of Great Britain in action in the Women's doubles bronze medal match at the London 2012 Paralympics Games. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Doubles
  • Has all of the same rules as singles tennis but there are two players per team on each side of the court — one serving or in the back and one playing in the front closer to the net.
an athlete has a strap on their wrist that helps them hold the tennis racket
Nick Taylor of the US competes in the men's mixed doubles-quad match at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. (Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Quad and open
  • Athletes with impairments to their lower limbs will compete in the open division and athletes who have impairments to both lower and upper limbs will compete in the quad division. 
  • Players in the quad division may use assistive gear like powered wheelchairs for example.
an athlete reaches up overhead to hit the ball with his tennis racket
Joachim Gerard of Belgium has to stretch to reach the ball in the men's singles semi-final at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Bob Martin/Getty Images)
Overhead Smash
  • When a ball has been hit high into the air, a player will return it with an overhead motion called a smash
  • This is a powerful move that is very hard to return!