Retiring wheelchair tennis legend Kunieda happy to change perceptions


Japanese Paralympic legend Shingo Kunieda said Tuesday he was ending his illustrious career satisfied that wheelchair tennis was now "finally seen as a sport" in the eyes of the public.

Kunieda has won 50 Grand Slam titles and four Paralympic gold medals, including a third singles title at the Covid-postponed Tokyo Games in 2021.

The 38-year-old, who announced his retirement last month, spent a total of 582 weeks as the men's world number one.

Kunieda said his first Paralympic gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games was not even reported on the sports pages of Japan's newspapers but attitudes have since "changed a lot".

"After the Tokyo Games, it really felt like it was now being seen as a sport," he told reporters.

"I had always been trying to get people to think of it as a sport, and last year I didn't feel the pressure to do that any more.

"Finally, I was able to just purely play tennis and compete against my opponent."

Kunieda, who was diagnosed with spinal cancer as a child, said he "didn't even know what the Paralympics were" when he first picked up a racket as an 11-year-old.

He ends his career as one of the Paralympics' greatest athletes, and was number one in the International Tennis Federation's year-end rankings 10 times.

He also won all Grand Slam singles titles in the same calendar year five times. The last prize to elude him was the Wimbledon men's singles title, which was introduced in 2016.

He chalked that off when he beat Britain's Alfie Hewett in last year's final.

"Wimbledon was the last title left for me to win, and after I hit the winning point, I celebrated with my team," he said.

"The first words that slipped out my mouth were 'now I retire', right there on the court."

The Japanese government is considering giving Kunieda the prestigious People's Honour Award for achievements in sport, entertainment and culture.

Kunieda, who turned professional in 2009, said he has only a vague idea of what he intends to do next but he would like to continue contributing to wheelchair tennis.

His 16-year-old Japanese compatriot Tokito Oda reached the final of the Australian Open men's singles last month in only his third Grand Slam appearance.

"There are more and more young wheelchair tennis players in Japan, who are playing in world-class matches," Kunieda said.

"I think I've left a bigger footprint than I thought I would when I turned professional."



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • Qyvdzx
    (2023-02-22 07:48:27Z)

    lanoxin 250 mg usa cost lanoxin 250 mg buy molnupiravir 200 mg sale

  • Jmctaw
    (2023-02-26 22:47:05Z)

    order digoxin 250mg order generic micardis 20mg order molnunat for sale

  • Ouqdzt
    (2023-02-28 15:15:01Z)

    amoxicillin 1000mg without prescription amoxil 500mg pill stromectol pill for humans

  • Zjazxu
    (2023-03-01 02:31:21Z)

    order carvedilol 25mg online order oxybutynin generic amitriptyline 10mg sale

  • Tehfxw
    (2023-03-02 02:12:26Z)

    buy priligy 30mg generic purchase domperidone pills purchase motilium generic

  • Hnamwl
    (2023-03-02 13:50:31Z)

    cost alendronate buy motrin online order ibuprofen generic

  • Pugcyh
    (2023-03-05 04:41:33Z)

    doxycycline tablet aralen cost buy oral methylprednisolone

  • Xbnvhf
    (2023-03-05 13:55:32Z)

    famotidine oral prograf 1mg canada remeron drug

  • Fmutay
    (2023-03-07 01:24:45Z)

    order generic ropinirole 1mg order labetalol sale buy trandate for sale

  • Rtsfhm
    (2023-03-07 06:08:44Z)

    purchase tadalafil generic purchase trimox without prescription purchase trimox online

  • Gkkrgn
    (2023-03-08 15:50:13Z)

    buy fenofibrate 200mg sale cost tricor 160mg sildenafil order

  • Prdioz
    (2023-03-08 19:42:47Z)

    generic nexium 20mg order nexium pill lasix 100mg over the counter

  • Esxuaj
    (2023-03-10 05:32:21Z)

    buy cialis 20mg without prescription Best cialis price sildenafil 100mg cheap

  • Tplufg
    (2023-03-10 08:41:18Z)

    buy minocin generic brand neurontin 800mg terazosin pills

  • Igakck
    (2023-03-12 01:49:17Z)

    order cialis 5mg sale sales levitra medication for ed dysfunction

  • Qplkwf
    (2023-03-12 07:38:23Z)

    glucophage pills tamoxifen 20mg tablet cheap tamoxifen

  • Lmuiwa
    (2023-03-13 20:10:49Z)

    cheap provigil 100mg order stromectol 3mg order promethazine pills

  • Zxqzxg
    (2023-03-14 04:43:07Z)

    clomid 100mg drug order lipitor 10mg generic purchase prednisolone pills

  • Kanicd
    (2023-03-15 13:43:29Z)

    prednisone 20mg drug buy deltasone 20mg order amoxil 250mg generic

  • Kuhbkw
    (2023-03-16 01:41:28Z)

    cheap accutane oral accutane 10mg buy ampicillin for sale

  • Gbhrke
    (2023-03-17 15:49:54Z)

    order fildena 50mg generic finasteride without prescription finasteride 1mg cost

  • Yokdqk
    (2023-03-18 01:25:36Z)

    ivermectin gel non prescription erection pills cost deltasone

  • Ajegdz
    (2023-03-19 16:34:53Z)

    order zofran without prescription amoxil brand bactrim 480mg drug

  • Bnwsed
    (2023-03-20 07:47:37Z)

    buy generic isotretinoin 40mg zithromax sale order generic zithromax 250mg

  • Grdkhl
    (2023-03-21 16:53:26Z)

    albuterol 2mg canada buy levothroid without prescription amoxiclav pill

  • Fxsrmf
    (2023-03-22 18:36:40Z)

    prednisolone medication prednisolone 10mg generic order furosemide 100mg without prescription

  • Wuoqnz
    (2023-03-23 15:48:17Z)

    buy modafinil without prescription zestril buy online metoprolol ca

  • Kgwyyt
    (2023-03-25 05:27:35Z)

    purchase monodox without prescription monodox oral order zovirax 400mg online cheap

  • Yspspq
    (2023-03-25 15:10:44Z)

    avodart cheap purchase orlistat online oral orlistat 120mg

  • Nnzrup
    (2023-03-27 14:00:43Z)

    buy azathioprine sale buy azathioprine 50mg without prescription order naprosyn 250mg generic

  • Urcclc
    (2023-03-27 21:57:17Z)

    oxybutynin 5mg for sale order generic ditropan trileptal 300mg pills

  • Srtocu
    (2023-03-29 07:57:22Z)

    buy cefdinir sale cheap pantoprazole order protonix 40mg online

  • Jxbquu
    (2023-03-31 01:55:14Z)

    order avlosulfon 100mg generic mesalamine 400mg buy tenormin without prescription


Top News: Tennis