By Paul Osborne

The 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters and ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters get underway this week and will be played outside of Europe for the first timeNovember 4 - This week sees the 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters and International Tennis Federation (ITF) Wheelchair Doubles Masters being held in the same venue, at the same time, for the first time since 2002.

A total of 38 players from 12 nations will come together to compete for the men's, women's and quads, singles and doubles titles.

The year-end competitions will be held outside of Europe for the first time ever with the Marguerite Tennis Pavilion in Mission Viejo, California, having the honour of hosting the two prestigious events, which begin tomorrow and will run until next Monday (November 11).

Japan's Shingo Kunieda, the Netherlands' Jiske Griffioen and America's David Wagner will all be hoping to retain their titles in this year's singles events having triumphed in Mechelen, Belgium, last year.

The NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, first held in 1994, features the world's top eight men's and women singles players and the world's top four quad singles players.

The eight players in the men's and women's singles will start the event in two round-robin groups of four players, with the two in each pool progressing to the semi-finals later in the week.

After the initial round-robin phase in the quad singles, the top two players will go forward to the final.

Two-time Paralympic gold medallist Kunieda comes into the competition as the world number one having won his maiden NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters men's singles title last year, a year after current number two Stephane Houdet won his first Masters title.

The Japanese player and the Frenchman will both go into the tournament knowing that each are in contention for the world number one spot depending on their success during the week.

Current world number three Maikel Scheffers of Netherlands has also won the title in the last four years, while Britain's world number Gordon Reid has beaten the world's top three on more than one occasion this season.

Japans world number one Shingo Kunieda will be looking to retain his title in the mens singles eventJapans world number one Shingo Kunieda will be looking to retain his title in the men's singles event

Germany's Sabine Ellerbrock will be hoping to become the first non-Dutch player to win the NEC Masters women's title and only the second non-Dutch player to top the year-ends women's singles world rankings.

Ellerbrock's chances of winning the Masters, in which she came third last year, were improved when The Netherlands' world number one Aniek van Koot dropped out due to injury.

She will, however, still face stiff Dutch competition through defending champion and world number three Griffioen, who has a particularly good head-to-head record against the German.

With five Paralympic gold medals under his belt and five NEC Masters singles titles, Wagner will come into the quads singles competition as the favourite to defend his title.

The current world number one will be up against a strong field in this year's competition with South Africa's US Open champion and current world number two Lucas Sithole, as well as 2011 and 2012 runner-up Andy Lapthorne of Britain, looking to take their first their first NEC Masters title.

David Wagnar right will be looking to defend both the mens quad singles and doubles titles he won at last years MastersDavid Wagnar right will be looking to defend both the men's quad singles and doubles titles he won at last years Masters

The ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters is the flagship wheelchair tennis doubles event.

First staged in 2000, the season-ending event currently features the world's top eight men's pairs, top six women's pairs and top four quad pairs.

Current world number one and defending champion, Houdet, will be among the favourites to take home gold in the men's doubles as he partners Reid, who he beat in last year's final alongside Kunieda.

Defending singles and doubles champion Griffieon will partner with another Dutch woman in this year's event, after winning the 2012 Masters alongside Aniek van Koot.

She and partner Sharon Walraven will face tough opposition from the Netherlands' Marjolein Buis and Great Britain's Lucy Shuker, the Australian Open runners-up, and Japan's Yui Kamiji and Great Britain's Jordanne Whiley, the Wimbledon beaten finalists.

Six-time champions Nick Taylor and Wagner will start as warm favourites in the quad doubles as the United States' three-time Paralympic gold medallists bid to retain their title on home soil.

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