Alfie Hewett is one of the British wheelchair tennis players who will benefit from the partnership ©Getty Images

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has partnered with the National Lottery to support its Wheelchair World-Class Programme for the next two years.

The National Lottery is now an official partner and will help the British wheelchair tennis team in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. 

Efforts will also be made to encourage more people to play the sport for the first time.

The agreement will see the National Lottery be acknowledged through brand integration, including off-court experiences, tickets to other LTA events and various content opportunities.

The National Lottery has been a supporter of sport in the United Kingdom since it was established in 1994 and played a part in Britain's most successful Paralympics at Rio 2016, where the nation finished second in the medals table.

Britain won a third of all available wheelchair tennis medals at Rio 2016.

Rio 2016 Paralympic medallists Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett are among those to have benefitted from National Lottery support previously.

Gordon Reid is the reigning men's singles Paralympic wheelchair tennis champion ©Getty Images
Gordon Reid is the reigning men's singles Paralympic wheelchair tennis champion ©Getty Images 

"The LTA is excited to partner with the National Lottery to be the official partner of our Wheelchair World-Class Programme," said Helen Reesby, LTA head of performance operations and the Wheelchair World-Class Pathway.

"This will enable us to grow the existing wheelchair performance pathway whilst allowing for the development of an 'Entry Level Talent Initiative' to inspire the next generation, open up disability sport to more people and develop a greater number of elite players to Grand Slam and Paralympic success."

The partnership was announced alongside the confirmation of entries for the upcoming International Tennis Federation Loughborough Wheelchair Open, which is set to be the first international tennis event in Britain in almost a year and is scheduled for March 23 to 27.

Two of the four best women's players in the world - The Netherlands' Aniek Van Koot and Britain's defending champion Jordanne Whiley - are set to play, while 10 of the top 20 men's players are also in the draw including Hewett and Reid.

Britain's Andy Lapthorne is set to headline the quad singles.