INTERNATIONAL wheelchair tennis comes to Oxfordshire for the first time this week.

The inaugural Abingdon Futures Tournament gets under way at the town’s White Horse Leisure & Tennis Centre tomorrow.

The last of seven world ranking events on the International Tennis Federation’s UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, the tournament will feature 39 players from 12 countries.

The leading British entries include Paralympian Antony Cotterill, as well as individuals from Great Britain’s silver and bronze medal-winning teams from this year’s World Team Cup, which was held in Israel in May.

Among those taking part are

ten-time Grand Slam champion Jordanne Whiley, who lives in Steventon.

Two-time Paralympian Louise Hunt heads the women’s singles entry.

She is likely to face a tough challenge from multiple national champion Lauren Jones, with both players hoping to earn valuable world ranking points in their bid to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

Kirsty Thomson, the LTA’s tournament director, said: “We are very much looking forward to bringing international wheelchair tennis to Oxfordshire for the first time.

“We are approaching the halfway stage in the year-long qualification period for Tokyo and for many players the world ranking points on offer in Abingdon would be very useful.”

Sue Auger, tennis manager at the leisure centre, added: “We are delighted to be hosting and hope the event will create a lot of interest.

“We already have a well-established disability tennis programme here at the Centre, but this event will further help promote this amazing sport particularly with, the Paralympics coming up in Tokyo next year.”

Play starts at 9am, with the final taking place on Sunday. Entry is free.