With Great Britain’s top u18 Wheelchair Tennis competitors descending upon Loughborough University, all aiming for the gold medal, Wheelchair Tennis retained its spot as one of the spectator’s favourite sports, undeniably delivering some truly ‘ace’ performances!

With plenty of highlights and hits to choose from, such as England Blue’s Zak Corbishley winning the Fair Play trophy, the limelight must surely fall on double medallists Ross Gourley and Fran Smith.

Ross, who competed for Ulster, had previously taken part in the School Games in 2015 and 2016, but missed out on medalling.

Demonstrating his skill, precision and perseverance last year, Ross went on to win the boys singles gold, as well as the doubles silver!

Of his performance, he said:

“I was a bit nervous coming into the match because it was my first ever final at the school games. I didn’t really know what to expect but once I got out on the court and started hitting some good shots I settled down, got my rhythm and eventually the games came.

“I’m very pleased with my performance, the best I have ever finished before that was fourth last year… so to win gold this year is a big improvement. I’m delighted! This means a lot to me and it’s an achievement I’ll cherish.” 

But, it was Caernerfon’s Fran Smith that really set the bar high for this year’s wheelchair tennis titans, winning double gold in the singles and doubles competition last year!

Competing for Wales, Fran showcased her fantastic talents on court, with a nail-biting tie-break win in the girls singles final and a top-notch performance with Lily Folland in the doubles.

Of her performance after the singles final, Fran said:

“It was an amazing match, really tough. Abbie won the first set and I won the second. It went to tie break, 10 – 8. It’s really tough to play against her but I loved every minute of it.

“I’m mind blown! It means so much to me because it’s my first and last year here because I’m 18, so winning gold is amazing!” 

Wheelchair Tennis has been steadily rising in popularity over the last decade, and it is played at all four of the Grand Slams. With stars such as Alfie Hewett, Louise Hunt and Gordon Reid to look up to, there are plenty of role models for this year’s competitors!

Did you know, Great Britain is one of the strongest nations in the world in wheelchair tennis and at the Rio Paralympics won one third of all the medals on offer – six medals out of a possible 18!