When a person’s body is affected by any illness or injury such that your hands and legs become paralytic and at times also the torso, then he/she is a victim of quadriplegia.
Such is the amazing willpower that mankind possesses that even people with such harsh conditions go on to play tennis on wheelchairs and claim grand slam titles and olymlic medals.
Quad players are allowed to use electric powered racquets and the racquets are taped to their upper limb. Three players in particular have dominated quad tennis since its incorporation as an official sporting event in 2004.
1) David Wagner
David Wagner was playing frisbee at the Redondo Beach in California. During this leisure time he jumped high in order to catch the frisbee. In the process a high wave caught his feet, spun him around and Wagner’s head was dashed against the sand. David’s Mid-chest and legs were left completely paralyzed and he had only 30% control in his hands. For the next three years he played table tennis as a part of his rehabilitation. At the age of 25, he visited a wheelchair tennis camo by the then quad World No.1 Rick Draney. Wagner grew fond of the sport and was ranked the top US quad player by the next three years.
Since then he has had successful years and was also ranked the World No.1. He has won 9 grand slam singles titles, 10 grand slam doubles titles and 5 Masters titles in both singles and doubles. At the Paralympic games he has been a multiple time gold medalist in doubles (3), two time silver medalist in singles (2). In the 2016 Rio Paralympics he bagged the bronze medal. Last year at the Australian Open quad doubles, Wagner won the championship partnering Lucas Sithole. Wagner’s last grand slam title came in the US Open 2014.
2) Peter Norfolk
A motorbike accident and a cervical spinal nerve injury were the ground material for the making of “The Quadfather” a.k.a., Peter Norfolk. A former World No.1, Peter Norfolk’s wheelchair tennis career as a quadraplegic speaks volumes. He is a 7-time grand slam winner in singles and a 3-time grand slam winner in doubles. Besides, he has won the Masters in Singles and Doubles for a total of 6 times. He is a two time gold medalist in quad singles and two time silver medalist in quad doubles at the Paralympic games. Moreover, he was a part of the World Team Cup winning team in 2001,2002 and 2009. Furthermore, Wagner has multiple Super Series titles in his bag. In his illustrious career, David Wagner was his greatest rival and there was a constant fight for the top spot between the two. In his career he played nearly 300 singles matches and managed to win more than 250 of them. Norfolk retired from wheelchair tennis in 2013.
3) Dylan Alcott
Dylan Alcott was born with a tumor circumscribing his spinal cord. After the tumor was excised, he realised he was left paraplegic. Alcott took up wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball and swimming at the age of 6. He became a successful basketball player but then returned to playing tennis which he loved more. He became one of the fastest and youngest players to break into the top 100 at the age of 16 years. In the 2016 Rio Paralympics, Alcott won the Gold medal in both quad singles and quad doubles. He completed a calendar Slam in singles in 2021 and in doubles in 2019. The former World No.1 retired in 2022 with 15 singles and 8 doubles Majors.