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Tennis sensation at 68

A FORMER Dumbalk North woman is winning tennis trophies across Australia and the world at the age of 68.

Worldwide success: Margaret Harris is challenging opponents around the country and the world, and achieving success.

Worldwide success: Margaret Harris is challenging opponents around the country and the world, and achieving success.

Margaret Harris recently starred in the New South Wales Seniors Championship, winning the ladies singles 65 years-plus and ladies doubles 65 years with Sydneysider Carol Campling.
Harris was part of the Australian team to contest the Kitty Godfree Cup in the Czech Republic last month, helping Australia to victory over Finland and Brazil.
She was runner-up in this year’s New Zealand championships, made the semi-final of the Australian title in January and also the semi-final of the national clay court tournament.
Harris is now ranked 23 in the world in her age group but in September 2012 reached a career high international ranking of 17.
“I would like to get back to 17 by the end of the year. I might not do it but who cares, but I’ve got to have something to aim for,” Harris said.
She may contest this year’s South Australian titles but will certainly be in the draw of the Victorian Seniors Championships in Melbourne in December and the Australian championship in Hobart in January.
“I’m very determined. I’m on a mission,” she said, noting she rarely misses a groundstroke.
Harris’ return to tennis at the senior level began in January 2012, to merely complete a team taking part in the Williamstown Tennis Club’s midweek ladies competition. She conceded she had no idea then she would do as well as she has.
“Some of the ladies at the Williamstown Tennis Club said if I made the top 50 in the world, they would take me out to dinner,” she quipped.
“I thought I would be kidding myself.”
Those same ladies have fulfilled their promise and are now offering to shout Harris a glass of wine should she make the world’s top 10. The drink will no doubt be well earned.
Harris attributes her success to a mix of good health – her joints are free of arthritis – and looking after herself. She runs, stretches, lifts weights and practises her game.
Tennis has been a part of her life and now at age 68, she is not only playing but still coaching.
She grew up around the game, joining her siblings Adrian, Carol and Ken to watch their parents Harvey and Olive play mixed tennis every Saturday afternoon at Dumbalk North. Her parents still live there.
“I’ve had wonderful support from my family and friends. When I win a tournament, I get a text from my friends saying how proud they are of what I’ve done and it gives me a thrill to give others pleasure,” Harris said.
A one time resident of Mirboo North, Harris now calls Truganina, in Melbourne’s west, home.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=9143

Posted by on Oct 29 2013. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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