The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters will continue to be staged in Mission Viejo, California, through to 2016.
The season-ending Wheelchair Doubles Masters is the ITF’s flagship event for the discipline and currently features the world’s top eight men’s pairs, top six women’s pairs and top four quad pairs.
This year’s edition is due to be held at the Marguerite Tennis Pavilion from November 3 to 7, marking the third consecutive year that Mission Viejo has hosted the event.
The city has long supported wheelchair tennis and has staged the Johan Cruyff Foundation's, named after the legendary Dutch footballer, Junior Wheelchair Camp for the Americas since 2007, in association with the United States Tennis Association.
“To have the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters locked in for the 2015 and 2016 season here in Mission Viejo is tremendous,” said Jason Harnett, co-tournament director since 2013.
“We all get a chance to enjoy the very best in this Paralympic sport leading into Rio 2016, and there is no better way to wrap up our annual roster of international wheelchair tennis tournaments in the United States.”
UNIQLO became title sponsor of the Doubles Masters in 2014 as part of a three-year sponsorship agreement for the ITF’s major wheelchair tennis properties, that also includes title sponsorship of the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
“UNIQLO is proud to be the title sponsor of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters, the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis doubles event,” said Larry Meyer, chief executive of UNIQLO USA.
“Following the success of the past two years, we are pleased that this tournament will be held in the city of Mission Viejo once again in 2015 and 2016.
“Southern California and Mission Viejo in particular have had close ties to the early days of wheelchair tennis, and we believe the decision to continue to hold the event in this city is great news for both the sport and the event itself.”
The US is one of three countries to have hosted the tournament since its inception in 2000, with The Netherlands and Italy completing the trio.
The first edition took place alongside the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in The Netherlands, before becoming a stand alone event in 2003.
Italy staged the event from 2003 until 2010, after which it moved back to The Netherlands for a two-year period.
The 2013 edition in Mission Viejo saw the event move outside of Europe for the first time, and was played alongside the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters.
“We are delighted that Mission Viejo will continue to host the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters,” said ITF wheelchair tennis manager Mark Bullock.
“Mission Viejo’s commitment to the development of wheelchair tennis over many years has been outstanding and we look forward to working with the team at the City of Mission Viejo Recreation and Community Services and Marguerite Tennis Pavilion to stage another memorable event in November.”
Last year’s Wheelchair Doubles Masters saw Belgium’s Joachim Gerard and France’s Stephane Houdet claim the men’s title, while Japan’s Yui Kamiji and Great Britain’s Jordanne Whiley took the women’s crown.
Meanwhile in the quads competition, US duo Nicholas Taylor and David Wagner came out on top after beating Britain’s Jamie Burdekin and Andy Lapthorne.
November 2013: World's best travel to California for Wheelchair Tennis Masters
July 2013: Mission Viejo awarded NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters to go with doubles event
April 2013: California to host 2013 ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters