Wheelchair tennis Olympian brings special serve to GR tournament

Posted at 5:45 PM, Jul 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-13 19:00:12-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- This weekend more than 80 wheelchair athletes from all over the world are competing in an international tennis competition right here in Grand Rapids.

One of them is a Paralympian with a special kind of serve that's served him for the last 24 years.

Nick Taylor is a five-time Paralympic medalist, has has won 11 grand slams and he's done it all while serving with his feet; this weekend he says he came to play.

"It's just incredible to watch. He just takes it and flips himself and...he's good," says Sue Katerberg, long-time volunteer.

He's a five-time Paralympic medalist, winning three gold, one silver, and one bronze in Athens, Beijing, and London, and he's done it all while serving with his feet.

"To be honest when I first started I didn't even think it was strange or weird or anything it's just how I did it. So I just did it. And then I went to my first tournament 2 months later and everybody started freaking out," says Nick Taylor, Professional Wheelchair Player.

Taylor has Arthrogryposis and has been playing with his feet and winning for 24 years.

This week he will join more than 80 wheelchair athletes in the international wheelchair tennis competition for a chance to win $15,000.

And these Olympians came to win.

"Grand Rapids is a great tournament. It's one of the upper tournaments here in the United States. So I travel around the world, I just came back from years for five weeks but it's great to be back on US soil and playing a tournament in America," Taylor says.

But hey, after winning 11 grand slams, both at the British and U.S. Opens, a little competition is nothing.

"I literally only came home from Europe about a week and half two weeks ago so in terms of preparation I'm pretty much just coming straight off those tournaments and I'm as ready as you can possibly be for a tournament," says Taylor.

If you'd like to see Nick and all of the other wheelchair athletes in action you still have time. Tournament play runs from Friday  until Sunday. Clickhere for more information.