Sportable’s second annual River City Slam Wheelchair Tennis Tournament presented by VCU Health took place June 10-12, 2022 at Collegiate School’s Williams Bollettieri Tennis Center. The USTA sanctioned, three-day event showcased 46 local and nationally ranked wheelchair tennis players representing 17 states in both junior and adult divisions (A, B, C, D, and Quad Open).
The River City Slam CarMax Juniors Division was designated as one of only six USTA Wheelchair Junior Tournament Series in the country. Boasting one of the largest flights of juniors players of any tournament in the U.S., the River City Slam featured 14 players from coast to coast. U.S. Junior National Team players Gaila Fosbinder, ITF Female Wheelchair Tennis Junior of the Year from Charlotte, NC, and Team USA players Maximus Wong and Mathias Krodel also appeared.
Twenty junior wheelchair tennis players from beginners to aspiring Paralympians participated in the CarMax Juniors Wheelchair Tennis Camp during the tournament weekend. Gabby Hesse, Head of Wheelchair and Adaptive Tennis at the renowned Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) in College Park, MD and Taylor Wingate, USTA Net Generation Ambassador led the clinic that focused on teamwork drills and individual skill development.
The River City Slam concluded with award ceremonies recognizing 40 Champions and Finalists in seven divisions. Among the winners were Sportable wheelchair tennis players Evan Wrinkle (Division C Singles Consolation Champion and Division C Doubles Finalist), Stan Corn (Division C Doubles Champion), Marc Miller (Division C Doubles Finalist), Cynthia Pettus (Division D Finalist), Wyatt Brady (Juniors Division Flight B Singles Consolation Champion), and Ryan Beale (Quad Open Singles Champion).
The success of the River City Slam should be credited to the more than 100 volunteers on site throughout the event. Volunteers of all ages, youth and adult, donated 650 hours of time to serve as greeters, ball runners, court monitors, and shuttle drivers
One of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world, wheelchair tennis is played on a standard tennis court in the same way as able-bodied tennis, with the only exception being that a wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball. Wheelchair tennis has been part of the Paralympic Games since 1992 and has been played at all four Grand Slams since 2007. Wheelchair tennis is one of the only sports that allows for inter-abled competition.