Left to Right: Men’s Open Singles Winner – Stephen Welch, Tournament
Director- Aki Takayama, Runner-up Paul Moran
(June 13- Flushing Meadow, Queens New York) After a five-year absence from competing on the circuit, former No. 1 Stephen Welch gets back on track by winning the Menâ€™s Open division in the ITF 3 Series Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tournament held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Stephen Welch currently ranked 41 and seeded fourth for the tournament took out third seeded Paul Moran 6-3, 6-0 in the final.
The 38-year-old native Texan Welch used a lob-type drop shot which fooled his opponent on several occasions. When asked about the shot after the match he said it was â€œjust luck..just a touch shotâ€
He began his tennis career 16 years ago, he was playing wheelchair basketball and one of the players named Mark Hammond â€œcrossed overâ€ and played tennis and introduced Welch to it.
â€œHavenâ€™t played in about five years, happy to get back into itâ€ said Welch. This is a great tournament, great facility, great people.â€
Welch was a member of the Paralympic wheelchair teams in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008, medaling in the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 games.
Growing up Welch’s sports idols were Andre Agassi andÂ Micheal Jordan.
Welch tries to inspire other people to play the gameÂ â€œI was sedentary, I was trying to get out and be active, nothing more important than your health. If you are not being active get out and do something and tennis is a great option.â€
Next tournament stop for Welch will be the Atlanta Open which is a major event â€“ an ITF 1 series tournament where most of the top ten players will be participating.
Welch is coached by Brian Trapp.
For the complete information on the Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tournament including results for the A, B, C and D singles and doubles competitions click here.