Shingo Kunieda (Japan) Wheelchair Tennis, 26
The world’s No 1 player Shingo Kunieda from Japan enjoyed a second successive unbeaten year in 2009, ending the season as World Champion for the third year in a row. He finished the year more than 1700 points clear of his nearest pursuer in the rankings, winning 37 matches and eight singles titles, including all three Grand Slam events - Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open. At the end of the year Kunieda was unbeaten in 77 matches dating back to 2007. Shingo’s dazzling record of success includes victory in the Beijing Paralympic Games and a career total of 11 Grand Slam titles. Shingo suffers from a lower back injury after spinal surgery.