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Wheelchair player chooses to face able-bodied

Charleston Daily Mail photo by Craig Cunningham Patrick Donaghey hits a shot as he warms up for a Public Courts doubles match Monday at the Tennis Indoor Center in Kanawha City.
Charleston Daily Mail photo by Craig Cunningham
Patrick Donaghey hits a shot as he warms up for a Public Courts doubles match Monday at the Tennis Indoor Center in Kanawha City.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The United States Tennis Association identifies one significant rule difference for a wheelchair tennis player and an able-bodied player: the two-bounce rule.

Those who play with or against Patrick Donaghey would agree that there isn’t a difference at all.

“After you start playing with him you forget all about it and treat him like any other player,” said Dana Eddy, who is in his second year directing the Public Courts tennis tournament.

The nine-day event played at the Schoenbaum Courts in Kanawha City had 531 total entries from 336 players this year. Donaghey, who can opt to hit return on two bounces instead of one, is the only person in the field who competes in a wheelchair.

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The 53-year-old is a former national champion wheelchair tennis player, but taking the court with able-bodied players is what he prefers.

“At first they looked at me like I was crazy…

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