Graves stages big tournament

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THREE of Great Britain’s London 2012 Paralympians are among 29 players for the Sheffield Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, from 15-17 March.

A former home to the National Wheelchair Tennis Championships, Graves Tennis Centre will host the world ranking event on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour for the first time.

Sheffield’s Alex Jewitt joins Nottinghamshire’s David Phillipson as the top seeds for the men’s singles, both having represented their country at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Top seed Phillipson is making his seasonal debut, while Jewitt will hope to impress at his home centre, having made his 2013 debut last month at the North East Tournament in Sunderland, where he reached the semi-finals. World No. 1 ranked junior Alfie Hewett will also provide stiff opposition.

Jewitt became a dad to twins before Christmas and says: “Since the twins arrived there have been lots of family commitments and tennis has had to come second for a while, but it will be a special feeling to play an NEC Tour event. To do well there would mean so much,” said Jewitt.

“The National Wheelchair Tennis Championships were being held at Graves the week I came home from hospital in 1998 after my accident and that’s when I first discovered the sport. I’ve trained there ever since.”