Ipswich tennis star claims national title

TITLE WINNER: Archie Graham won the Australian Open title for people with intellectual disabilities in Melbourne last month.
TITLE WINNER: Archie Graham won the Australian Open title for people with intellectual disabilities in Melbourne last month. Rob Williams

IN JUST four years Archie Graham has gone from mucking around with a racquet in his grand mother's backyard to national champion.

Last month Graham won the Australian Tennis Open for players with intellectual disabilities at Melbourne's Albert Park.

The tournament was run in conjunction with the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

The former St Eddies student, who lives in Eastern Heights, lost one match in the lead up to the final, to fellow Queenslander Mitchell James.

He met James again in the final and was too strong, winning 6-1, 6-2.

"I was still confident," Graham said of going into the final against a player he had recently lost to.

"I was ready for that and had had a good night's sleep.

"I just kept focused and didn't let the game I'd lost beat me up."

At 182cm Graham backed his big weapons.

"I'm more like a deep court player," he said.

"I like to use my forehand and my serve is very big."

After taking the first set in the final Graham had his serve broken early in the second, but showed a champion's spirit to break back immediately and close out the match.

"I didn't face a break point in the first set," he said.

"When I lost my serve in the second set I just kept positive in my head, tried to play the points out and make him force a mistake."

When I lost my serve in the second set I just kept positive in my head, tried to play the points out and make him force a mistake.

The 19-year-old Graham has only been playing tennis for the past four years but has improved dramatically in the past year under the watchful eye of coach Stan Cuthbert at Ipswich's Chermside Road courts.

"I have to thank my coach for helping me get to the point I can play good tennis," he said.

He began playing at his grandmother's house at Newtown.

"I have improved because I've been training well and developing my game," he said.

The Albert Park hard courts are a lot different to the grass at Chermside Road where he trains five days a week and the clay at the George Alder centre, where he works.

But Graham went to Melbourne prepared and confident.

"I did a lot of practice on hard courts as well when I got a chance with someone else," he said.

Graham has achieved his main goal of becoming the number one ID player in Australia, but already has another goal on his horizon.

Australia will send a team to the Czech Republic in July for the ID equivalent of the Davis Cup and Graham hopes to be part of it.

Beyond that he wants to represent Australia at the next Special Olympics world games in Los Angeles in 2015.

Archie Graham

  • Best advice: Think about what shots I'm going to play and be positive.
  • Pre-match meal: Porridge with orange juice.
  • Favourite TV show: The Simpsons.
  • Favourite player: Rafael Nadal.
  • Biggest influence: My coach Stan Cuthbert, my mum Claire, my brother and sister and all my friends.

Topics:  archie graham special olympics

Who is hiring: 10 jobs on offer in Ipswich

New jobs on offer at blueberry packing plant.

Full time, part time and casual workers wanted now

Readers love Selina's "stunner"

Here is this week's Facebook cover image as chosen by you.

Congratulations Selina Boyle

Accused live baiter trial set to proceed after court ruling

Live baiting trial to begin after court ruling.

Local Partners

Workmates honour crash victim with tribute

UPDATE: Tanya Lyell is being remembered as a young mother dedicated to her family and work as the town she called home mourns its loss.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Things to do this week

Dragon play Ipswich Civic Centre on Friday October 28

What's on in Ipswich

Ipswich unites in march for safe world for kids

The streets turn red in one of the previous Walk for Daniel events.

Bruce and Denise continue movement

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Bindi Irwin named in MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals