Wheelchair tennis star improves her ranking

Wheelchair tennis player Janel Manns
Wheelchair tennis player Janel Manns

Kendall Tennis club member and Australia’s No 2 wheelchair Tennis player Janel Manns (pic below) recently returned from touring the South American wheelchair tennis circuit. Janel played in four international tennis federation events staged in Colombia (Baranquilla), Chile (Santiago), Brazil (Minas Gerias) and Argentina (Buneos Aires) under extreme conditions.

Janel made singles finals in Brazil and Argentina along with semi-finals in Chile and Colombia. She also picked up two doubles titles in Chile and Brazil after teaming up with Argentinean Andrea Medrano. “I’m happy with my result a got a bug whilst in Chile going down in 3 sets in my semi otherwise I believe I could have made 3 finals as I ended up beating that opponent later in Brazil.” said Janel.

Janel is working this year to move her world ranking back into the top 20. Formerly ranked #17 in the world 2010, Janel’s ranking dropped into the 60’s due to an inability to compete at tournaments because of lack of funding for travel. The South American trip has not only seen Janel rise in world ranking to #30, but Janel also received good news while on tour that she has been short-listed and is now amongst a select few Australians who have made the London Paralympics Shadow Squad - a squad of 400 Australian athletes with disability across all sports disciplines. Of the 400 it is estimated that only 200 - 260 of those on the shadow squad will make selection to attend the London 2012 Paralympics games. With tennis requiring Janel to be ranked in the world top 22 female tennis players by May 2012, she is determined to achieve just that.

Janel will avoid Japan and Korea this June, four tournaments she would usually attend but instead head to an ITF3 tournament in Nuremburg, Germany, where she has 2010 ranking points to defend. This tournament leads in to the prestigious British Open Super Series - a tournament expected to draw huge numbers of competitors all vying for the world wheelchair tennis top positions to aid in qualifying for London 2012. Where to from here will depend on funding as Janel has to self fund her trips. The tennis club assists where it can but calls on any businesses that feel they could assist in sponsoring Janel to come forward.

Janel is keen to see the Kendall Tennis Club get the expansion of more courts as soon as possible as she needs the new court surfaces to assist in her preparation for making the London squad. There are also children still waiting to play in teams and unfortunately the tennis club has lost its regular youth group this year as there was not enough court space to cater. This is more of a lost to the community then the tennis club.

“Lets hope the new council administrator will resolve the issue as it has just taken too long and the club is now at risk of losing funding from Sport & Recreation and Community Builders” said club president Wendy Hudson.