#Brisbane2019: Tennis stars expected to shine on Global Games court
Defending tennis champions and medallists will take to the courts at the 2019 International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) Global Games in Brisbane, Australia, from 13 October.
The sport’s line-up at the Queensland Tennis Centre is expected to deliver multiple medals for hosts Australia as they go for glory on home soil.
But there will be more than a few challengers waiting to ruin the green and gold’s party.
British teenager Anna McBride upset the established order at the 2018 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Tennis World Championships in Paris, France, when she stormed to gold in the women’s singles.
McBride, then aged just 14, beat Belgium’s double world champion Hanna Lavreyson in straight sets to take the gold.
Australia’s Kelly Wren, a multiple world title-holder and the Global Games champion, will line-up hoping to improve on her bronze from last year.
In the men’s singles, Australia have a bright hope in national legend Archie Graham.
Graham is the reigning world and Global Games champion and will surely be planning to make the most of the opportunity to win gold at home.
Great Britain’s Fabrice Higgins made it into both finals but struggled to overcome Graham in 2018 and at the last Global Games in 2015.
The women’s doubles features the powerful line-up of Australia’s Carla Lenarduzzi and Wren. The pair have not left a major Championships without a medal since they won gold in 2015.
Great Britain’s Dominic Iannotti claimed double gold in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles with Higgins and McBride in 2018.
Graham will be hoping to continue his success in the team events as well. He won gold in both 2015 and 2018 with Damien Phillips and Mitchell James, respectively. He is also grabbed the title with Lenarduzzi four years ago.
James followed-up by reaching the mixed doubles podium with Lenzarduzzi 12 months ago in Paris with silver and the duo were followed by Graham and Wren.
The tennis competition will also feature the Global Games debut of players competing in the II2 category – for athletes with a more significant impairment.
The World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games are the world’s biggest high performance sports event for athletes with intellectual impairments.
Nearly 1,000 competitors will go for gold in 10 sports in Brisbane from 12-19 October.
Results will be available at the official competition website.