Jef Vandorpe


At 14, the young Belgian is already one of the top 5 under-18 players in the world. Until the age of eight and a half, Jef was a young boy full of energy and health. In January 2010, following persistent pain in his hip, Jef consulted a doctor and the diagnosis fell like an axe. Jef is suffering from Perthes disease, which is a necrosis of the femoral head that occurs in children. This disease unfortunately forces Jef to move around in a wheelchair or on crutches. Since he is very sportive – he assiduously practiced Jiu-Jitsu, volleyball, swimming and table-tennis, the sentence is all the more difficult to accept. However, Jef decided to not let it get the better of him and immediately started playing wheelchair tennis. Motivated and conscientious, he progressed quickly and had just one idea in his head: to become the best player in the world. Currently ranked 4th World Junior player (U18), he is the youngest player in the top 40 under-18 worldwide (Jef is only 14). In the seniors, he holds the 164th place in the world, which is exceptional for his age. Sponsors and the media have little interest in wheelchair tennis. Jef therefore has very little support. However, the young talent is facing significant training and competition costs in the same way as an able-bodied player does. Thanks to the support of Hopiness, Jef can strengthen his support and participate in more international competitions, allowing him to continue his progression with an easy mind.