Alfie Hewett will replace Shingo Kunieda in the men's singles event at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters ©Getty Images

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that Great Britain's Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallist Alfie Hewett and compatriot Antony Cotterill will replace former three-time champion Shingo Kunieda and 2016 runner-up Lucas Sithole in the men's and quads competitions respectively at next month's 2016 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters.

Japan's Kunieda, runner-up in the men's singles last year, has withdrawn from this year's event due to an injury allowing Hewett to step in and compete.

Meanwhile, Cotterill replaces world number three Sithole of South Africa, who is also injured, among the six quad singles entries.

Former world number one Shraga Weinberg of Israel had already been added to the tournament as a replacement for current quads number one Dylan Alcott.

The Australian captured both the quad singles and quad doubles gold medals at the Rio Paralympics in September, but will not be competing due to injury.

The ITF's season-ending championship for the world's top singles players on the UNQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour will be held between November 30 and December 4.

For the third successive year the prestigious tournament will be staged at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, the venue for the London 2012 Paralympic wheelchair tennis event.

The top eight men's singles and women's singles players and the top six quad singles players at the ranking cut-off date of October 10 all qualified for the tournament.

After winning his first NEC Masters title in 2015, Joachim Gerard of Belgium is now one of four past champions in the men’s field alongside world number one Stephane Houdet of France, Stefan Olsson of Sweden and Maikel Scheffers of The Netherlands.

Antony Cotterill replaces world number three Lucas Sithole among the six men's quad singles entries ©Getty Images
Antony Cotterill replaces world number three Lucas Sithole among the six men's quad singles entries ©Getty Images

Hewett originally missed out on a top eight ranking to qualify automatically at the cut-off date.

The 18-year-old was world number eight on October 3, but dropped one place after Scheffers jumped ahead of him following the US Open USTA Championships Super Series, the last Super Series event before the final rankings emerged.

Hewett has since reclaimed his status as world number eight from Scheffers. 

The world’s current top three in the women’s singles rankings are all previous champions.

World number one and Rio Paralympic gold medallist Jiske Griffioen of The Netherlands will be in action.

She beat 2014 champion and her compatriot Aniek van Koot in last year's final to win her second NEC Masters title in four years.

World number three Yui Kamiji of Japan will also be competing. 

She won the 2013 title to become the first non-Dutch winner of the women's singles at the NEC Masters. 

This year the tournament will feature six quad singles players for the first time, having previously been contested by the top four players. 

American David Wagner is the only one of the six players currently at the top of the quad singles rankings to have previously won the men's NEC Masters title, while world number four Andy Lapthorne is a former runner-up.