Ben Bartram: Confidence as important as ranking' ahead of Paralympic debut

Norfolk wheelchair tennis player Ben Bartram says he will be playing as much as possible as he prepares for his first Paralympic Games.

The 18-year-old is currently ranked 19th in the world for singles - and is the third-ranked Briton behind US Open Champion Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid.

"I'm going to be playing lots of tournaments and solidify my spot in the Paralympics," said Bartram.

As it stands, he will qualify to play in Paris next year.

"I'll qualify on my current ranking, but I'll be looking to get as many matches under my belt as possible to get my confidence up going into the Paralympics," he said.

It has been quite a year for the youngster who played more senior tournaments despite still being able to play in the junior events.

In September 2022, he won the inaugural Junior Boys Singles and Junior Boys Doubles wheelchair titles at the US Open in New York.

He chose not to defend his title this year and instead continue preparations for more senior tournaments.

"To win the first ever junior grand slam is an amazing feeling and that will always be in history. I could have played the juniors this year but I decided to stay at home and rest after an intense season.

"If I can keep progressing at the rate I am it'd be incredible," said Bartram.

Fellow Norfolk tennis star Alfie Hewett won his fourth US Open title at Flushing Meadows. in September.

Bartram spent time playing with Hewett earlier this year when they were part of the great Britain team that won the World Team Cup in Portugal.

"Everything he (Hewett) wins is deserved, he's the hardest working player that I've seen on tour," he added.