Wheelchair tennis at the Paralympic Games follows Olympic tennis rules, with a few important differences.
The most significant difference is the ‘two-bounce rule’, which means a player can allow the ball to bounce twice and must return it before a third bounce. The second bounce can be inside or outside the court boundaries.
At the serve, the server must be in a stationary position before serving the ball, but is allowed one push of the wheelchair before striking the ball.
Matches are the best of three sets, with a tie-break settling each set as required.
The wheelchair tennis competition consists of six medal events: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, quad singles and quad doubles.
Each nation may enter a maximum of four men into men’s singles, four women into women’s singles and a maximum of three quad players in the quad singles. A maximum of four men and four women may compete as teams in men’s and women’s doubles and a maximum of two players may compete as a team in the quad doubles.
As with all Paralympic sports, classification in wheelchair tennis is based on the principle that an athlete has a medically diagnosed, permanent impairment. For wheelchair tennis, this impairment must be a mobility-related physical impairment.
Athletes do not necessarily compete against athletes who have the same impairment (e.g. an athlete who is an amputee against another athlete who is an amputee). Instead, athletes whose impairment affects up to two limbs compete in the men’s and women’s ‘open’ competitions, and athletes whose impairment affects three or more limbs compete in the quad division (which is a mixed sex division).
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