touching down in st. louis before heading to nyc

Book-writer, tennis enthusiast and USTA employee Richard Dedor has sent us this dispatch from St. Louis as a lead-up to the wheelchair competition at the US Open, which begins on Thursday. More info here. A great snippet of info from Richard. -NM

It may not have the glitz and glamour of Flushing Meadows, but St. Louis does know how to produce good and entertaining tennis. Durring week one of the US Open, The Gateway City hosted the US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships, an ITF Super Series event on the NEC Wheelchair Tour.

The tourney brought the very best athletes in the world to the Midwest, including Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day  star and winner of 394 consecutive matches, Esther Vergeer. People have often asked Vergeer how she keeps winning, but I saw it first-hand. After participating in Monday night’s opening ceremony in New York, Vergeer flew to St. Louis mid-day, came to the courts for a short hit around and was in the hotel gym before dinner. Simply put: that’s how the 29-year-old from the Netherlands remains the best.

The same goes for men’s world no. 1, Singo Kunieda. After winning his 100th straight singles match, the 26-year-old Japanese player told me about his training regime, which includes seven days of on-court work, intensive cardio and short- and long-distance training.

They are athletes of the first order and if you have the chance this week in New York, get out and watch them play. You will not be disappointed.

More: Check out this video of Vergeer from a couple of years ago, working her magic. In wheelchair tennis, players are allowed two bounces of the ball instead of one.

(photo provided by richard dedor)

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