Vichy, France, 2 June 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Excitement is building ahead of the 2023 Virtus Global Games in France, which begin on Sunday.

The Virtus Global Games, which are held every four years, are the world’s largest elite sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment.

An 11-member team has been selected to represent Australia in the 2023 edition in Vichy from 4-10 June. The Australian team will also attend Roland Garros while in France.

> READ: Australian team announced for 2023 Virtus Global Games

Archie Graham, a five-time world champion, is Australia’s No.1-ranked man in the II-1 singles category. The 29-year-old is making his third Virtus Global Games appearance and looking to add to an already impressive medal tally, which includes golds across singles, doubles and mixed doubles in past editions.

“I’m very excited,” Graham said. “Everyone is very grateful and motivated to play well.”

Fellow Queenslander Breanna Tunny is set to represent Australia at the Virtus Global Games for a second time and hoping to win a first medal.

“I’m thrilled. I’m so ecstatic to be travelling with my team overseas,” said 24-year-old Tunny, Australia’s No.3 woman in the II-1 singles category .

“It’s been such a journey that we’ve all been on. But to be going overseas and representing who we are, is just overwhelming. I’m so happy, (it’s) so good.”

An II-3 category has been introduced this year, allowing players on the autism spectrum to also compete.

Simon Ma, Australia’s No.2 man in the II-3 singles category, can’t wait to don the green and gold for the first time.

“My goal is to try my best and see where my results take me,” said the 17-year-old from New South Wales.

“I’ve never been in a team environment my whole tennis career, because tennis is mainly an individual sport. We are always by ourselves. We are with our friends, or with one of our family members travelling to different parts of the country and world just to compete. This time, suddenly, we are with a group of people who are on the same team as me, and I guess this will be a very different and new experience.”

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