Four new faces for ITF Wheelchair Tennis Player Council
The ITF wheelchair tennis players have elected the second ITF Wheelchair Tennis Player Council, with players representing all three divisions and all levels of the rankings worldwide set to begin their tenure in 2021.
The 2021-2022 Player Council will feature four new faces, including quad world No.3 and reigning US Open champion Sam Schroder and USTA’s Head of Wheelchair Tennis Player Development Jason Harnett, while five members of the current Player Council were re-elected for a second term.
The incoming Player Council will begin their two-year tenure from 1 January 2021. It is comprised of seven current players, each of whom holds an active ITF ranking, as well as one former player – who has been inactive on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour for a minimum of two years, and previously competed at one of the sport’s flagship events – and one coach.
The nine council members will represent the interests of wheelchair tennis players across all divisions, rankings and world regions involved in ITF wheelchair tennis competitions, as well as offering advice and recommendations to the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Committee on all issues of concern to players – including, but not limited to, the ITF rules and regulations.
The Player Council features at least one current player from each division; at least two current players of each gender; at least one player from each international region (the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia/Oceania); and at least one player from the following ranking ranges at the start of the election period: 1-10, 11-40, and 41+. Each member individually represents players within their own division, ranking band and geographical world region.
With the inaugural Player Council term ending this month, nominations for this second cohort opened in November, with voting held between 26 November and 3 December. The following players were elected:
Current players: Najwa Awane (MAR), women's world No.59 Charlotte Fairbank (FRA), women's world No.39 Maikel Scheffers (NED), men's world No.14* Sam Schroder (NED), quad world No.3 Lucy Shuker (GBR), women's world No.11* Nick Taylor (USA), quad world No.16* Ben Weekes (AUS), men's world No.41* Former player: Karin Korb (USA), former women's world No.11 and two-time Paralympian* Coach: Jason Harnett (USA), Head of Wheelchair Tennis with USTA Player Development
* Re-elected 2018-2020 Player Council members
ITF Head of Wheelchair Tennis Alistair Williams said: “The Wheelchair Tennis Player Council played an integral part of the Return to Tennis in recent months. There were difficult decisions to be made and we are thankful for the Council’s dedication and commitment during what has been a challenging year.
“We look forward to working closely with the newly elected members and as some members were re-elected, are pleased that they are joining an experienced team who ensure players’ opinions are at the forefront when making decisions about the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.”