TOP SHOT: Australian Open doubles finalist Ben Weekes will be in Grafton this weekend for the third annual wheelchair tournament.
TOP SHOT: Australian Open doubles finalist Ben Weekes will be in Grafton this weekend for the third annual wheelchair tournament. Darrian Traynor

Open tennis finalist here for tournament

TENNIS: This weekend it's your chance to see an Australian Open finalist play up close and personal.

As part of the third annual Grafton City Tennis Club Wheelchair Tournament, top ranked Australian player Ben Weekes will play exhibition matches on the Sunday.

Weekes was a finalist alongside Stephane Houdert at this year's open in doubles, and he has represented Australia at the Paralympics on four occasions.

Grafton City Tennis Club president Ayesha Beckman said it was at the suggestion of Clarence Valley Council mayor Jason Kingsley to contact him, and after speaking with him on Facebook he agreed to come and support the regional players.

"We have people coming from the Gold Coast, Brisbane as well as people from the rehabilitation centre in Sydney,” Ms Beckman said.

"It's a great thing. This is our third tournament, and I think it creates more awareness in the community for the sport, as well as giving regional players an opportunity.”

Ms Beckman said that (club coach) Phil Beckman was a wheelchair tennis development coach, and for people wanting to try the sport, Phil can teach them, while using a sport wheelchair donated to the club.

There will be two days of tennis action, where the rules are the same as traditional tennis, except the ball is allowed to bounce twice, with singles play starting from 10am on Saturday, and finals from 9am Sunday.

Weekes will arrive on Sunday morning, and will be available to chat before he plays an exhibition doubles match at 10am.

”If it's raining we will move to an indoor court, and he can give a training session for the players,” she said.

Ms Beckman said that 15-year-old Harry Hresczuk will be tournament director for the first time this weekend, after impressing assisting her at the North Coast Tennis Championships.