The biggest biceps in world tennis touch down in Aus

 

The world's greatest wheelchair tennis stars will hit the court in Tweed Heads this week for a final warm-up tournament before contesting the Australian Open.

The bulk of the world's top 10 male and female talents will take on the Tweed Heads International at the town's Regional Tennis Centre in an exhibition tournament spectators can watch free of charge.

Gustavo Fernandez. The world's top wheelchair tennis stars will play a four-day tournament at Tweed Heads in preparation for the Australian Open.
Gustavo Fernandez. The world's top wheelchair tennis stars will play a four-day tournament at Tweed Heads in preparation for the Australian Open.

Tournament organiser Daniel O'Neill said the region had been given a special opportunity to watch world class tennis on its doorstep.

"This is the cream of the crop in wheelchair tennis across the world," O'Neill said.

"Most of the top 10 men are here and eight of the top 10 women.

"There will be some fast and furious competition, the players are extremely well-skilled and they move around the court beautifully.

"It's going to be free for everyone so we encourage everyone to come and see this world class event in Tweed Heads this week."

The headline attraction at the tournament will be 25-year-old world No. 1 Gustavo Fernandez from Argentina.

 

Gustavo Fernandez. The world's top wheelchair tennis stars will play a four-day tournament at Tweed Heads in preparation for the Australian Open.
Gustavo Fernandez. The world's top wheelchair tennis stars will play a four-day tournament at Tweed Heads in preparation for the Australian Open.

"He'll be one to keep an eye on," O'Neill said.

"It's hard to come up with a comparison but he's that big brute (of a player) that overpowers players with his strength.

"He's won a couple of Australian Open titles because he's a very strong, powerful player who hits with a lot of depth."

Gustavo Fernandez. The world's top wheelchair tennis stars will play a four-day tournament at Tweed Heads in preparation for the Australian Open.
Gustavo Fernandez. The world's top wheelchair tennis stars will play a four-day tournament at Tweed Heads in preparation for the Australian Open.

The rules of wheelchair tennis are identical to able-bodied tennis with the exception that balls are allowed to bounce twice instead of once.

That offers most players a chance to chase down balls hit across the court - except when lining up against the Argentinian great, who over 12 years in the chair has worked out a clever way to circumvent that rule.

Fernandez blasts balls back at such speed that only a handful of players in the world can navigate the court quickly enough to return them.

Fewer still are good enough to sustain a rally.

"I'm a physical player and I try to bring a really high intensity in the match every time I play," the hulking South American said.

"It's very important to me to be prepared so I can try to bring my strength into the contests.

"I work out a lot, and there's a big specific program that I follow to try be as fit as I need to be to compete at the top level."

Fernandez will take on the best of the rest in the Tweed Heads International from Wednesday to Saturday.


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