NSW Wheelchair athlete and world number 16, Ben Weekes, has proven himself as a contender for the London Paralympics with a stunning performance in South Africa last weekend.
Ben had a tough road to the final, meeting New South Welshman Richard Engles and battling to three sets to win 4-6 6-2 6-0. After gaining confidence from the match Weekes stormed through to the final and defeated world number ten, Takashi Sanada 6-2, 3-6 6-4. Impressively, Ben came back from 0-3 in the final set to take the title.
March also saw Ben take two titles at the Perry New Zealand Wheelchair Open. Defeating NSW team mate, Adam Kellerman, in the singles final 7-5 6-2 and then partnering Kellerman in the doubles final, defeating Japanese pair Fuijimoto and Miki 6-4 3-6 6-4.
Ben, who trains at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, has been working diligently to improve his game over the last year. National Academy Manager, Craig Purcell, has been working closely with him and sees this result as an indication of what Ben is capable of.
“The changes that Ben and I have identified over the past months have shown that a great attitude, hard work and commitment always pays off”
The Sydney native has had an extraordinary past twelve months, nominated at the Newcombe Medal Tennis Australia Awards for Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability. Ben was also recognised in the determination category for Vegemite’s ‘Toast of a Nation’ competition and had his face plastered on special ‘Toast of a Nation’ jars.
Ben now heads to Texas then onto South Korea to compete in the 2012 Wheelchair BNP Paribas World Team from 21 to 27 May. He will join his team mates and fellow New South Welshmen, Adam Kellerman and Keegan Oh-Chee and take on the world’s best.