“Deaf Tennis Australia is a non-profit organisation responsible for everything related to deaf tennis in Australia at all levels from the grassroots to the national and international representative level.
We are a full member of Deaf Sports Australia (DSA) and through our work with DSA, and mainstream tennis by way of Tennis Australia and its affiliated state organisations, we create opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing people to play tennis with one another.”
I have been involved in deaf tennis since my first introduction to deaf sport at the Australian Deaf Games in Sydney 2003. Since then I have gone on to represent New South Wales and Australia on numerous occasions and now I proudly serve as Vice-President of Deaf Tennis Australia.
Since the 1920s, we have created our own deaf Australian tennis history and in recent years, added an international chapter. Despite the many challenges in reaching the deaf and hard of hearing tennis players scattered across Australia, the deaf tennis community offers some great opportunities for deaf tennis players to come together, and currently we are the strongest we have ever been internationally:
- Glen Flindell – World No. 4 in singles and No. 7 in doubles
- John Lui – World No. 8 and No. 9 in Doubles
- Jamie Zafir – World No. 21 and No. 13 in Doubles
- Stephen Swann – World No. 24 and World No. 8 in Doubles
- Joshua Sealy – World No. 74 in singles
- Penny Gillett – World No. 34
Our dream is to grow Australian deaf tennis to the stage where we have a clear pathway from the grassroots level to international representation for future potential champions to come through.
The Deaflympics are the world’s most prestigious sporting event in the deaf world and is held every 4 years as per the Olympic movement. With all due respect to those athletes, we are not to be confused with the Special Olympics or the Paralympics as we stand alone and proudly. The history of the Deaflympics is actually older than the Paralympics but we have suffered greatly in terms of funding, awareness and mass sponsorship. This is the case across all deaf sports.
The Deaflympics offer the most ranking points and its hosting every 4 years means that this is also the hardest tournament to win.
- World Championships
- Dresse Maere Cup
The Dresse and Maere Cup is the deaf version of the famous Davis Cup that takes place in international tennis. We compete as countries against one another for the right to be crowned world champions. This too was held every 4 years up to the most recent edition in Turkey this June, and from this point onwards, it will be every 3 years.
As this is a team event, there are no ranking points on offer but it is a great opportunity for new and upcoming players to experience international deaf tennis.
- Other tournaments