Australia’s top wheelchair tennis athletes, including dual Paralympic tennis gold medalist and multiple Grand Slam champion Dylan Alcott, have their sights set on gold when they head to Apeldorn, Netherlands, for the BNP Paribas World Team Cup from 28 May to 3 June.
This is the largest Australian team to compete at the event, the wheelchair equivalent of the ITF’s Davis and Fed Cup, since 2007. Nine athletes in three teams will represent Australia in the men’s, quad and junior divisions.
Team members were presented with their prestigious Australian team jackets by Tennis Australia Wheelchair Tennis Coach Educator Greg Crump, recently named as the recipient of the Brad Parks Award, the highest international honour in wheelchair tennis.
In the men’s division, veteran Ben Weekes (NSW) will represent his country for an incredible fifteenth time alongside long-time team mate Keegan Oh-Chee (NSW) while Henry De Cure (SA) and the team’s ‘orange boy’ Martyn Dunn (Vic) will make their debut for Australia. The four players will attempt to win the men’s World Team Cup title for the first time since 2002.
“With two new players in the men’s team it’ll be a bit of a change up. Keegan and I will bring the experience but Marty and Henry will bring that hunger. It’s going to be a great experience for them to get a taste of what it’s like to represent your country at the top level,” Weekes said.
Four-time Australian Open quad champion Dylan Alcott (Vic) will make his return to World Team Cup alongside fellow Paralympic doubles gold medallist Heath Davidson (Vic). The pair are hoping to win the title for the second time after they won Australia’s first quad title in 2016.
“I love playing with Heath, it’s not every day you get to compete with your best mate so I’m really looking forward to it,” Alcott said.
“It’s great to have the juniors travelling this time as well, I played my first World Team Cup at 13 so I understand what it’s like to be in their position, and it’s going to be great.”
“It’s an awesome feeling to represent your country. I take a lot of pride from it and I’m really looking forward to this year’s competition,” Davidson added.
“In 2016 Dylan and I went into the competition without any expectations, we both thought we would get smashed and to come away with the win was amazing.”
Victorians Finn Broadbent, Riley Dumsday and Saalim Naser will don the green and gold to represent their country for the first time in the junior international competition. Australia last fielded a junior team at this tournament in 2011.
“I’m really happy and feel very privileged to be able to play a sport that I love for my country,” world No.8 Dumsday said.
“Personally I would love to win but am trying not to set my expectations too high and put too much pressure on myself. It’s an incredible honour to be part of the team and I’ll take a lot of positives out of competing at this level.”
Australia will face competition from 16 nations in the men’s division, and eight nations in the quad and junior competitions.
Australian Wheelchair Tennis team (World Team Cup 2018)
Ben Weekes (NSW)
Keegan Oh-Chee (NSW)
Henry De Cure (SA)
Martyn Dunn (Vic)
Dylan Alcott (Vic)
Heath Davidson (Vic)
Finn Broadbent (Vic)
Riley Dumsday (Vic)
Saalim Naser (Vic)