London, England, 23 August 2012 | Tennis Australia

Australian wheelchair tennis star Adam Kellerman (St. Ives, NSW) will make his Paralympic debut next week in London after five solid years of training.

“Representing Australia means everything to me, and playing at the Paralympic Games will signify I have achieved my goal I have been working towards,” said Kellerman, who was named in the Australian team this June for the London 2012 Paralympics from 29 August to 9 September.

Having recovered from cancer and a severe infection in his leg, Kellerman is now the second-ranked wheelchair tennis player in Australia and is ready for his first Paralympic Games at London 2012.

“I have played 21 tournaments over the last 12 months and raised my singles ranking from No.61 at the beginning of 2012 to its current all-time high of No.29,” the right-hander said.

The talented 22-year-old, who says his career highlight to date was competing at the 2010 World Team Cup in Turkey, will be joined in the four-person Australian wheelchair tennis side by his doubles partner and dual Paralympian Ben Weekes (Strathfield, NSW), fellow debutant Janel Manns (Port Macquarie, NSW) and four-time Paralympian Daniela di Toro (Thornbury, Vic).

Leading into London, Kellerman has enjoyed a good preparation. At the 25th Austrian Open, the penultimate ITF 2 Series tournament before the London 2012 Paralympics, he powered his way into the men’s singles final before going down 6-2 6-7(8) 6-3 to Tom Egberink of the Netherlands.

In the doubles competition at the same event, Kellerman teamed up with Weekes, his Paralympics doubles partner, to reach the final.

The 2012 Paralympic wheelchair tennis action, which is expected to be the toughest to date, will take place at Eton Manor, the only new permanent London 2012 Paralympic venue.

“There are so many tough players in the men’s wheelchair singles and doubles competitions I can’t just name one (favourite),” Kellerman revealed, who is coached by Craig Purcell at Sydney Olympic Park.

Throughout his career, Kellerman, who started playing wheelchair tennis after attending a Wheelchair Sports NSW Come and Try Day, said fellow Aussie wheelchair tennis player David Hall, a Paralympic gold medallist at Sydney in 2000, has been his greatest inspiration.

“I also admire Roger Federer for his playing style and off-court manner,” he added.

Leading into the London Games, Kellerman has a lot of support behind him.

“He is a pretty confident man, he is a tough competitor and he loves to win,” said Greg Crump, Australian wheelchair tennis coach.

“He is very driven and is comfortable playing against the bigger players in the world so I think he will embrace the Paralympics.”

2012 Australian Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis Team

Janel Manns – Port Macquarie, NSW
Daniela Di Toro – Thornbury, VIC
Ben Weekes – Strathfield, NSW
Adam Kellerman – St Ives, NSW

Australian Paralympic wheelchair tennis medallists

David Hall (NSW) – Sydney 2000

David Hall (NSW) – Athens 2004
David Hall (NSW) / David Johnson (QLD) – Sydney 2000
Daniela DiToro (Vic) / Branka Popuvak (NSW) – Sydney 2000
David Hall (NSW) / Mick Connel (NSW) – Atlanta 1996

Daniela Di Toro (Vic) – Athens 2004
David Hall (NSW) / Anthony Bonaccurso (Vic) – Athens 2004
David Hall (NSW) – Atlanta 1996