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June 29, 2004

Wheelchair and Deaf Players Play in Action at Wimbledon

From: Wimbledon, UK - Jun 29, 2004

Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th July 2004

The British Tennis Foundation and the All England Club are delighted to announce that The Championships is once again set to showcase the skills of some of Britain's leading Wheelchair Tennis players, while also featuring some of the country's leading Deaf players, during a series of exhibition matches on Court 14 over the Finals' weekend at Wimbledon.

At 12 Noon on both Saturday 3rd July and Sunday 4th July, men's doubles Wheelchair exhibition matches are scheduled to take place on Court 14 for the fourth consecutive year. This year's exhibitions will feature three of Britain's leading players, Kevin Plowman (Halifax, Yorkshire), David Gardner (Wheatley Hill, Durham & Cleveland) and Matthew Faucher (Hereford, Herefordshire & Worcestershire), as well as John Greer (United States).

Plowman and Gardner have both been selected to represent Great Britain at the Athens Paralympic Games in September, while Faucher now has strong ambitions to make the team for Beijing in 2008. All three Britons played in the first ever wheelchair exhibition at The Championships in 2001, while Plowman and Faucher made their second appearance on Court 14 in last year's series of exhibitions.

At 4.00pm on Saturday 3rd July, for the first time ever a Men's Doubles exhibition match will be played at The Championships featuring four members of the Great Britain Men's National Deaf Tennis Squad.

Three of the four players, Daniel Tunstall (Pewsey, Wiltshire), Darren O'Donnell (Stockport, Cheshire) and Lewis Fletcher (Farnham, Surrey) were members of the Marsh Team GB Men's team that finished runners-up to Germany in the 2003 Dresse Cup, the Davis Cup of deaf tennis, in Poertschach, Austria, last June.

Anthony Sinclair (Northern Ireland), who missed out on last year's Dresse Cup with an injury, will join Tunstall and O'Donnell in the Marsh Team GB Men's Team for the European Deaf Tennis Championships, which take place in Pau, France, in two weeks' time (10th - 17th July).

Sue Wolstenholme, Director of The British Tennis Foundation, said: "We are delighted that wheelchair doubles has been so warmly received at The Championships over the last three years. We are very excited to have four top players join us once again to show just why wheelchair tennis is one of the top sports scheduled for the Paralympics in Athens in 2004. "Following on from the success of the wheelchair exhibitions, we are very grateful to The Championships for welcoming our deaf players on court for the first time this year to demonstrate the tremendous skill, ability and strength that exists within deaf tennis in this country."

Written by British Tennis Foundation

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