Sydney, Australia , 17 May 2024 | Jackson Mansell

Ben Weekes is one of Australia’s most accomplished wheelchair tennis athletes.

The enduring 39-year-old is a five-time Paralympian, who has achieved career-high rankings of world No.10 in singles and world No.11 in doubles.

The Sydneysider also took part in the AO Glam Slam earlier this year, proudly representing the LGBTI community at the Australian Open.

> READ MORE: Weekes – “Everyone just accepts you for who you are”

Weekes shares his training routines and offers valuable advice in our Train with the Pros series.

Do you have a favourite time of day to practice?

Every day I train early in the morning because I work as well, so that’s the time that works best for me. Ideally, it would be nice to sleep in some days.

What do you do for work?

I work for the ABC in admin for children’s television production.

How many hours per week, on average, do you spend on the practice court?

We try to get 20 hours of hitting in, then gym on top of that. It’s pretty much a full-time training schedule. Then I also have work, so I have a lot to balance.

What do you enjoy most about training?

At the moment, I’m training a lot with another wheelchair player, Anderson Parker. That’s something I haven’t got to do for a while, so having that squad environment has been really nice for me.

What is the least favourite part of your game to work on?

I don’t really love the gym. It’s something that I do so that I don’t get injured. I put in the hard work, but it’s not the most enjoyable. I’d rather be outside working on the tennis side of things.

Do you have favourite players on tour to practice with?

There are a couple of Japanese guys who I get along with and play doubles with quite a bit, so we normally tee up some practice sessions when I’m on the road. Most of the time I’m the only Aussie at tournaments, so I will practice with whoever I can get. Luckily, we all get along really well, so it’s easy to find hitting partners. I find training on the road more valuable, as a lot of time in Sydney it can be just my coach and I, so it’s good to train with other wheelchair tennis players.

Can you recall any particular training sessions you were most nervous for?

I never get nervous for training. For me, I treat it like work. So, I just feel like I’m showing up for work.

Are there any players on tour you most want to practice with?

I’ve been playing for more than 20 years, so I think I’ve hit with everyone at some point. Ideally you want to train with the best players, so Alfie Hewett (the current world No.1 in men’s wheelchair tennis) is the guy I’d most want to train with at the moment. There are a lot of young players coming through who are super hungry, so it’s always good to hit with them too. The game has changed a lot, so they have a more modern style and getting exposure to that is helpful.

What advice would you share with an aspiring player to get the most out of a practice session?

I see a lot of players who lack attention when they’re training. It’s also important to be open to working with your team and taking criticism. Have trust in who you’re training with and that you’re doing the right thing. Once you can find that, you’ll keep getting better.

Finally, if you had five minutes remaining in a practice session and could do anything you wish, what would you choose?

I’d want it to be something that gets me wrecked, so I feel like I finish strong. That would be something with high intensity, a lot of pushing and chasing down balls.

> READ MORE: From our “Train with the pros” series

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