Wimbledon may be over for another year but there is plenty more in the tennis calendar. Cerebral Palsy Sport were thrilled to have the chance to catch up with Wheelchair tennis player and Ambassador James Shaw this week to catch up on his busy year so far and looking ahead to the rest of 2017. Here’s what he had to say!
What have been the highlights of 2017 for you so far?
In May I was chosen to compete out in Sardinia for my second world team cup which is the wheelchair equivalent of the Davis and Fed Cup on the back of having a highly successful year in which I won my first international singles title, and capped off the year by winning my 4th senior national’s title. It was an honour to get picked to represent my country again, but to play the final, win the event and become world champion with my team mates was a highlight of my career so far and has definitely spurred me on to work hard and have more success in the future.
What are you hopes for the British Open in August?
The British Open is a very tough event where all the top players come from around the world to compete in Nottingham. With my world ranking at 14 and promising performances of late I believe more than ever that I am able to challenge the top players in the world so I’m excited to compete and hope to continue my success on the court by beating some top players.
What’s the best thing about your sport?
I believe the best thing about my sport is getting better whether that be physically, tactically, or mentally at a sport I love. At the end of the day I chose to play tennis from an early age because I love the sport and want to win so by pushing myself to the limits and then being able to see that work paying off is an amazing feeling. Then win or lose I know I’ve done everything I can do and know either way I’ll be back next time stronger.
Any advice for young people who want to get into wheelchair tennis?
I’d suggest finding a local tennis club, getting in a chair and having a go whether that be against friends, family, coaches, players, whether they be able bodied or a wheelchair user! Roma Sport with the help of the Tennis Foundation have sent out more cost effective club wheelchairs to tennis clubs around the country so ask around tennis clubs and try them out.
Wheelchair tennis is an amazing sport that has helped many people including myself improve in so many areas on and off the court, and sometimes this is lost or forgotten in the midst of competitiveness, and having to win. I love to win as everyone does and I’ll push myself as hard as I can to achieve my dreams but my main goal is always to go out on court improve myself, and enjoy myself, so it’s always nice see young people getting in a wheelchair enjoying wheelchair tennis.
The British Open Wheelchair championships take place at Nottingham Tennis Centre from Tuesday 1st August – Sunday 6th August, the tournament features men’s, women’s and quads competitions, as well as a junior competition. Play is scheduled between 9:30am-6pm each day. Tickets are now on sale, priced just £2 for a weekday ground pass and £5 for a Saturday/Sunday (finals weekend) ground pass, while kids go free all week when accompanied by an adult. For further information visit the Tennis Foundation website
On Saturday 5th August – Come & Try Tennis opportunity while the British Open is taking place in Nottingham. Anyone can come and have a go at wheelchair tennis, as well as other disability tennis at our free ‘Come and Try’ session! To reserve places contact Matt Elkington on 07961 267607, firstname.lastname@example.org