The wheelchair doubles event this year will begin from July 14. 4 pairs have entered the tournament in both the men’s and women’s category. Seeded second this year, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett are the defending champions. The top seed is the French duo of Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.
Wheelchair Men’s Doubles
Match 1: Stephane Houdet/Nicolas Peifer vs Stefan Olsson/Maikel Scheffers
The French pair of Houdet and Peifer are the top seeds this year at the Wheelchair doubles event. Together they have won 2016 Australian Open and the 2017 Roland Garros events. Houdet, a 19-time grand slam champion himself, has won the Wimbledon doubles events on three occasions. He was the first man to complete a calendar year grand slam in doubles in wheelchair tennis. Houdet’s experience will be handy for the top-ranked doubles duo. They face the Swedish-Dutch duo of Stefan Olsson and Maikel Scheffers who are currently placed 10th in the doubles category. Olsson had won the doubles title at Wimbledon in 2010 partnering Robin Ammerlaan. This time he has partnered with Maikel Scheffers who has a career grand slam in wheelchair doubles. Scheffers had won the doubles title in 2011 partnering Ronald Vink. On paper, Houdet and Peifer have the edge over Olsson and Schefers.
Match 2: Gustavo Fernandez/ Shingo Kunieda vs Alfie Hewett/Gordon Reid
Shingo Kunieda has won 18 grand slam wheelchair doubles titles and 3 of his triumphs came at Wimbledon. Yet, he is placed 21 in the doubles ranking. He partners Gustavo Fernandez, who won the doubles event at Wimbledon in 2015 along with Nicolas Peifer. Gustavo is placed 5th in the doubles rankings. The Japanese Argentinian pair is are up against the British pair of Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid who are the defending champions. It is the Brit pair who seemingly would win this encounter.
Both the men’s doubles matches will be tight contests and the British duo will have to earn their defense as they head further in the draw.
Wheelchair Women’s Doubles
Match 1: Jiske Griffioen/Aniek Van Koot vs Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley
The Dutch top seeds, Jiske Griffioen and Aniek Van Koot will play the Japanese-British pair of Yui Kamiji and Jordanne Whiley. Griffin, a 14-time grand slam doubles winner, has won the wheelchair doubles event at Wimbledon on two occasions. Aniek Van Koot, who partners Griffioen has won 10 grand slam doubles titles. The duo has won multiple grand slam titles together as well and are a heavy favorite for the doubles crown. They won the Australian Open wheelchair doubles event earlier this year. Facing them is the British-Japanese pair of Yui Kamiji and Jordanne Whiley. Kamiji, who won the doubles event at Roland Garros this year is a 10-time grand slam doubles champion. In 2016 she won three wheelchair doubles titles at grand slams. Kamiji is ranked second in the doubles category. She is partnering Jordanne Whiley, who is ranked 16 in doubles. Whiley has won 7 grand slam doubles titles, 3 of which came at Wimbledon. The Dutch pair is expected to win in straight sets.
Match 2: Sabine Ellerbrock/Lucy Shuker vs Marjolein Buis/Diede de Groot
The German-British pair of Sabine Ellerbrock and Marjolein Buis will face yet another Dutch pair of Marjolein Buis and Diede de Groot. Ellerbrock and Shuker, both aged above 35, are experienced doubles players. Ellerbrock has been the finalist at Wimbledon on four occasions whereas her partner has been a finalist at Wimbledon thrice. They play against Marjolein Buis and Diede de Groot. Buis, the experienced of the two has won three grand slam doubles title. She won this year’s French Open wheelchair doubles event. She partners Diede de Groot who enters her maiden Wimbledon event. Groot is coached by the legendary 42-time wheelchair grand slam champion, Esther Vergeer. Groot is only 20 years old but has quickly climbed up the ranking in both the doubles and singles event. She is currently placed 3rd in singles and 4th in doubles.
We may very well have all four Dutch players in the women’s doubles wheelchair events.
“Doubts kill more dreams than failure ever will.”– Jiske Griffioen