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Wheelchair Tennis at Family Circle Cup

May 11, 2009 03:17 PM

Wheels were rolling and feet were running at the recent Run/Roll Wheelchair Exhibition held during the Family Circle Cup!

Some of the country’s top wheelchair players partnered with some of the area’s top tennis professionals to play an exciting, fast-paced Run/Roll doubles exhibition.

The Exhibition was hosted by the SC Wheelchair Tennis Committee to raise awareness for the growing sport of Wheelchair Tennis. The Run/Roll is a perfect example of how wheelchair players can enjoy USTA league play and competition.

FCC Wheelchair

The hour began with a Mixed Doubles exhibition. The Dynamic Duo that took the match was Bob Masella, Chairman of the SCTA wheelchair committee and a captain of a USTA 3.0 Mixed Doubles team that went to States and his partner, Diane Fishburne, a world ranked player and teaching professional at the Country Club of Charleston.

The team defeated excellent adversaries, world-ranked wheelchair player Sarah Casteel and teaching professional, Crafton Dicus of the Moultrie Playground Tennis Courts.

Next was a hitting clinic where other local wheelchair players came out and got to hit some balls. Local players, Terry Weaver, Amanda Dunn, Gilbert Smith and Dr. Roger Sorg got to hone their skills. But the fun began when able-bodied players got in the sport chairs brought by the SCTA office. SCTA’s President, Ron Charron and Executive Director, John Sheffield tried out the chairs. (with a perfect feed, they could even hit the ball over the net!) But you just try to move and hit – and that’s a different story! Physical Therapy students from MUSC also came to give the chairs a whirl.

Lastly the hour finished up with another exciting exhibition match featuring former international player, Alessandro Cianfoni of Italy joining the mix. Alessandro is an associate professor at MUSC and his skills were sharp!

Be sure to look for the Wheechair Tennis Exhibition again next year at FCC. And in the meantime, if you meet someone in a wheelchair – be sure to ask them if they play tennis!!

To find out more about Wheelchair Tennis opportunities in your area, contact your State USTA office and check out