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Riveting competition this week at UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters in Mission Viejo

Just before the sun rose over Mission Viejo early this morning, Emmy Kaiser practiced her backhand with a vengeance.

This Paralympian was warming up to compete just hours later in the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters at Mission Viejo’s Marguerite Tennis Pavilion.

The event is the International Tennis Federation’s flagship wheelchair tennis doubles event.  Other than the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadow, N.Y. – a Grand Slam event – there is no bigger wheelchair tournament in the country. Mission Viejo is the only U.S. city to ever host this event.

This first day of competition began with the first two quad doubles round-robin matches with nine-time champions Nick Taylor and David Wagner taking on their fellow American Greg Hasterok and Brazil’s Ymanitu Silva. Brits Antony Cotterill and Andy Lapthorne are facing Canada’s Mika Ishikawa and Kyu-Seung Kim of Korea Republic.

The top two quad doubles partnerships after three days of round-robin competition will meet again in Sunday’s final.

The opening day of play comes to an end tonight with the first two women’s doubles contests. Top seeds Diede de Groot of Netherlands and Lucy Shuker of Great Britain, both doubles medalists at Rio 2016 Paralympics, will play Charlotte Famin of France and Emmy Kaiser of USA. Both partnerships will then face Italy’s Giulia Capocci and Marianna Lauro in their remaining Pool 1 round-robin matches.

Women’s doubles Pool 2 starts with Germany’s Katharina Kruger and Netherlands’ Michaela Spaanstra taking on the Colombian-Chilean partnership of Angelica Bernal and Francisca Mardones.  Kruger and Spaanstra and Bernal and Mardones will play Britain’s Louise Hunt and USA’s Dana Mathewson later in the week. The top two women’s doubles partnerships in each pool will progress to the semifinals.

Matches take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday at 27474 Casta Del Sol.

See the schedule of play and activities along with daily livestream at http://cityofmissionviejo.org/itfmasters.

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