By David Gold at Eton Manor on the Olympic Park in London

Peter Norfolk_April_20April 21 - International Tennis Federation (ITF) wheelchair tennis manager Mark Bullock told insideworldparasport today that this summer's Paralympic tournament could be the best ever.

Bullock was speaking at Eton Manor, the temporary arena in the Olympic Park where the wheelchair tennis will take place this summer from September 1 to 8.

Eton Manor was completed in February and is the first ever venue built in an Olympic Park exclusively for Paralympic sport, which Bullock said gave him great "pride".

It will also host temporary training pools during the Olympics for swimmers and waterpolo players to practise.

It is particularly fitting that it has been constructed here in the country where the Paralympics Games were first conceived, at Stoke Mandeville, when London last hosted the Olympics in 1948.

Bullock is optimistic that wheelchair tennis will be popular this summer and that there will be no need to bus in members of the public to fill the venue.

"We're delighted to be in the Olympic Park and we're pretty confident it will be full," he told insideworldparasport.

"I have no doubt the British public will support the Paralympics and the wheelchair tennis.

"We've had full stadiums before and there's never been a Games where the awareness prior has been so high."

Bullock said that 3,000 tickets have been sold for the wheelchair tennis test event.

He added that the prospect of British competitors going far at the tournament this summer would be a good thing for the sport due to the interest it would create.

Many of the world's top men's and women's singles players hail from France and the Netherlands (Maikel Scheffers pictured below), but Britain has a number of strong quads contenders, such as double Paralympic gold medallist Peter Norfolk (pictured top), two time grand slam winner Andy Lapthorne and Jamie Burdekin, who won bronze alongside Norfolk in the doubles at Beijing 2008.

Maikel Scheffers_April_20
"It's always good and we hope there is interest in the host nation from both the public and media," said Bullock.

"We always like to have local interest and British players are highly ranked, so have medal potential.

"It is not inconceivable [Britain could do quite well].

"My interest is global but if the host nation does well that also generates interest.

"We're excited to be in a country where there are good hopes for the home nation."

Bullock also spoke of the development of wheelchair tennis, which is one of the fastest growing Paralympic sports, with 170 tournaments on the ITF tour, included on every Grand Slam.

"It's difficult to compare Games, our sport is evolving and we have more nations involved.

"It's possibly more competitive, perhaps there are more opportunities to win medals.

"I'm confident it is going to be one of the, if not the best, Paralympic Games."

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