Mitchell James will fly south this week to take on the world’s top tennis players at the Australian Open PWII Championships.
The Burpengary East resident will be one of four Aussies in the PWII (players with intellectual impairment) men’s singles at Melbourne Park from Friday to Sunday.
James is world ranked five - one below his Australian rank in October – behind top-ranked Archie Graham, who is also from Queensland.
Damian Phillips (world ranked six) and Joshua Holloway (ranked eight) complete the quartet preparing to face three players from Great Britain and one from India.
“I’ve trained really hard for this (Australian Open) … gym work, physio, on-court,” James said ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam.
“I think the heat will be okay down there. To be honest, I don’t mind it. I can deal with it, whereas some of the other players may find it harder.”
James says he has been to Australian Open “six or seven times before and always got to the final”.
He said it would be a successful championship, if he could match that feat again.
“I think Archie (Graham) will be the biggest challenge for me,” James said, “and Fabrice (Higgins, from Britain, world number two).
“I’ve played Fabrice twice before and he is very consistent.”
This is the second year the Australian Open PWII Championships have been held with the main two-week Australian Open.
Last year James won silver in the Men’s Doubles II-1 with Archie Graham and in the Men’s Team II-1 at the Virtus Global Games in France.
In 2022 he collected gold in the men's doubles and bronze in the mixed doubles at the Virtus European Summer Games in Poland.
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