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Wheelchair tennis invitational showcased at Miami Open

Wheelchair tennis invitational showcased at Miami Open
Wheelchair tennis invitational showcased at Miami Open 01:39

MIAMI - The Miami Open is showcasing its first wheelchair tennis invitational.

CBS Sports Miami's Trish Christakis was at the matches and shares the touching stories these athletes take with them on the courts.

"We put in so much work and it's really important for people to see that and don't see the wheelchair almost, of course, they're there and we need them but hopefully they can see past it and see that we're athletes," said Diede de Groot.

De Groot is the current number one in both singles and doubles for wheelchair tennis and a 39-time major champion, a sport that changed her life.

"Looking back, it gave me the opportunity to enjoy being active in a way that other sports wouldn't give me... because I always had a disadvantage, but wheelchair tennis gave me the opportunity to be just like other kids."

Alfie Hewett has been playing wheelchair tennis since he was 8 years old. It helped his mental health as a kid and hopes to inspire young kids watching today.

"For a young disabled kid coming out the grounds today to watch some wheelchair tennis that could be the moment they decide to play and the rest can be history," said Hewett.

Fans I spoke to today were moved.

"Wow. So impressive, it makes you more of an athlete, not less at all. It makes them more!" said one fan.

Something the director of the event, Shingo Kunieda, a four-time Paralympic gold medalist and winner of 28 major titles was hoping fans would witness while at the Miami Open.

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