Wheelchair tennis was founded in 1976 when Brad Parks, a former American acrobat skier paralyzed in a skiing accident, first hit a tennis ball from a wheelchair and realized the potential of this new sport.
Still one of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world, wheelchair tennis integrates very easily with the non-disabled game since it can be played on any regular tennis court, with no modifications to the size of the court or the size of rackets or balls.
Wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as non-disabled tennis, as endorsed by the ITF, with the only exception being that the wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball. The 'two-bounce rule' is written into the Rules of Tennis.
Wheelchair tennis also has an international tour. The ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour originated in 1992 with 11 international tournaments, but has grown in size and popularity with currently over 150 events taking place all over the world.
To be eligible to compete, a player must have a medically diagnosed permanent mobility related physical disability which must result in a substantial loss of function in one or both lower extremities.
Wheelchair tennis has been part of the Paralympic Games since 1992 and wheelchair tennis events have been played at all four Grand Slams since 2007.
NEC has been a committed sponsor of wheelchair tennis for over 30 years, supporting the world championship "NEC Masters" and the world tour operated by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) since the start of those tournaments.
Driven by our mission to create a safe and fulfilling society for all, NEC is a passionate promoter of sports for people with disabilities that encourage universal participation and inclusivity.
NEC talks our passion and our longstanding support about sponsorship in UNIQLO INTERVIEW: NEC
NEC celebrates 30 years of partnership with the ITF.
ITF renews its sponsorship agreement with NEC as title sponsor of the NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters and an international sponsor of the Wheelchair Tennis Tour for a further three years, from 2021 to 2023
NEC celebrates 25 years as title sponsor of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, the official year-end ITF championship, with the 2018 event being held in United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus at Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida.
ITF renews its sponsorship agreement with NEC as title sponsor of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters and an international sponsor of the Wheelchair Tennis Tour for an additional three-year period for 2018 through 2020.
NEC celebrates 20 years as title sponsor of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, with the 2014 event being held alongside the ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters in Mission Viejo, California.
NEC celebrates 20 years of partnership with the ITF. The ITF renews its sponsorship agreement with NEC as title sponsor of the Wheelchair Tennis Tour and year-end Wheelchair Tennis Masters for a further two years for 2012 through 2013.
The Japan Open becomes the fourth tournament on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour to have Super Series status.
NEC celebrates 10 years of partnership with the ITF.
The world’s top eight men and women compete in the inaugural NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
NEC forms a partnership with the International Wheelchair Tennis Federation (IWTF, fully incorporated into ITF in 1998) to sponsor the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour.