Photo: Sarah-Jade Champagne

The 2021 Birmingham National Wheelchair Tennis Championships is underway!

It had been 728 days since the last time tennis was played at the Birmingham Nationals, and it was sure nice to see Canada’s top players back in action today at the IGA Stadium in Montreal, playing for a shot at the national title.

Jean-Paul Mélo (left) and Souheil Saab (right) – Photo: Sarah-Jade Champagne

In the men’s division, the four seeded players did not miss a beat. Thomas Venos (BC), Jean-Paul Mélo (QC), Barry Henderson (BC), and Shawn Courchesne (ON) had perfect 2-0 days. Quebec’s Carl Desbiens decided to join in on the fun and won both of his matches, making him the only undefeated player outside of the top-four seeds.

On the women’s side, defending women’s singles champion Anne-Marie Dolinar (ON) got off to a roaring start, taking down top-ranked Canadian Kirsten Sharp (BC) 6-2, 6-0 and Candice Cobdon (ON) by a score of 6-2, 6-1. Natalia Lanucha (QC) also had a remarkable start to her tournament, earning 6-1, 6-0, and 6-2, 6-0 victories.

Anne-Marie Dolinar – Photo: Sarah-Jade Champagne

There was only one match contested in the quad’s and men’s doubles divisions on day one of the Birmingham Nationals. In the quad’s division, British Columbia’s Mitch Mcintyre bested Gary Luker (ON) by a score of 6-2, 6-2. Luker did not end the day on a loss, as he and partner Rob Shaw (ON) posted a 6-0, 6-0 shutout in doubles.

Make sure to follow us on our Tennis Canada and Wheelchair Tennis Canada social media accounts. We will be posting Friday’s recap, pictures, and more!