Melbourne, Australia, 23 January 2024 | Jackson Mansell

Heath Davidson can vividly recall watching his heroes, which included Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Pat Rafter, competing when he was growing up.

Wheelchair tennis was never in the spotlight at that time, but that is thankfully changing.

As Australia’s top-ranked quad wheelchair player, Davidson is now one of the faces of All Abilities Day at Australian Open 2024 and helping inspire the next generation of wheelchair players.

“Personally, I don’t see myself as a role model or an inspiration to anyone. But if people think that I am, I’m happy to be an advocate,” the humble 36-year-old said.

“I’m going to keep trying to fight the good fight and break glass ceilings.”

The annual All Abilities Day, which showcases the diverse ways people with disabilities can thrive in all aspects of tennis, was held today at Melbourne Park.

“All Abilities Day has come so far even just from last year with all the sensory rooms and therapy pet spots, all the hearing loop stuff around the grounds. It’s unreal,” world No.7 Davidson noted.

“Dylan Alcott, my old doubles partner, and Adam Hills are out there playing an exhibition this morning, it’s just awesome.

“It’s about celebrating all types of disabilities and we just want the sport to grow.”

Davidson was equally pleased to make a winning start to his singles campaign, scoring a dominant 6-2 6-1 victory against world No.12 Tomas Masaryk.

Hitting 33 winners to 14, this propels Davidson into a quarterfinal showdown with world No.5 Donald Ramphadi.

“I’m just out there playing and doing me,” Davidson said about facing the 30-year-old from South Africa.

“I’m not worried about what they’re doing, I’m just trying to focus on what I’m doing and if I play my way and play well, then hopefully we can get a good result.”

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Aussies in action – Australian Open

Quad wheelchair singles, first round
Heath Davidson (AUS) d Tomas Masaryk (SVK) 6-2 6-1
Robert Shaw (CAN) d [WC] Finn Broadbent (AUS) 6-1 6-0

Men’s wheelchair singles, first round
Alexander Cataldo (CHI) d [WC] Anderson Parker (AUS) 6-2 6-2
Stephane Houdet (FRA) d [WC] Ben Weekes (AUS) 6-1 6-1

Quad wheelchair singles, quarterfinals
Heath Davidson (AUS) v Donald Ramphadi (RSA)

Quad wheelchair doubles, quarterfinals
[2] Heath Davidson (AUS)/Robert Shaw (CAN) v Finn Broadbent (AUS)/Gregory Slade (GBR)

Men’s wheelchair doubles, quarterfinals
Anderson Parker (AUS)/Ben Weekes (AUS) v [1] Alfie Hewett (GBR)/Gordon Reid (GBR)

Find your way to play: Visit to get out on court and have some fun!