Local tennis stars

Meet the everyday heroes who love to get out on the court.

There’s no doubt about it: tennis is a sport that captures the heart and soul of many around the world. From international Grand Slams to local tournaments, it’s also a sport that many use as a recreational pursuit and a way to keep fit, with a little bit of socialising on the side. Ask anyone who plays regularly, and chances are there’s nowhere they’d rather be than on the court.

Kerrie

How and when did you start playing tennis?
I’ve been playing tennis for probably at least 10 years. I played when I was at school and I’ve continued playing ever since.

How often do you hit the court?
Probably twice a week.

Why do you play tennis?
I play because I enjoy it, for the social aspect and also for fitness.

What do you enjoy about tennis that you don’t get from another sport?
The social aspect and team aspect of the sport; the running around, playing doubles with another partner – it’s good!

What’s your favourite part of coming here?
I would say the social aspect and the playing of tennis.

Are you a serve-and-volleyer or a baseliner?
I’d probably say serve-and-volleyer.

If you could play against anyone, who would it be?
Oh, goodness… I really can’t answer that. I’ll pass!

Have you played a match that was particularly memorable?
No, not really. At the moment I’m playing more tennis than I have done in the past, so the more I get into it, the more I enjoy it.

Helen

How and when did you start playing tennis?
Probably about 30 years ago. I started off with lessons and continued on from there.

How often do you hit the court?
Once a week.

Why do you play tennis?
I get a bit of a run around; I feel it keeps me a bit fitter.

What do you enjoy about tennis that you don’t get from another sport?
I have to chase the ball down; that’s what I enjoy. I feel there’s some sport involved, rather than golf, where there’s just walking and swinging.

What’s your favourite part of coming here?
Probably the surrounding gardens.

Are you a serve-and-volleyer or a baseliner?
A baseliner.

If you could play against anyone, who would it be?
Someone who isn’t as good as me!

Have you played a match that was particularly memorable?
No.

Tony

How and when did you start playing tennis?
I started when I was 30. I did track racing for 15 years before that.

How often do you hit the court?
Usually about three times a week.

Why do you play tennis?
For fitness, mainly.

What do you enjoy about tennis that you don’t get from another sport?
I raced on the bike for years, but it was a bit too hard; I broke too many bones. Tennis is a lot easier on the body.

What’s your favourite part of coming here?
I like playing and mixing with all the people.

Are you a serve-and-volleyer or a baseliner?
Serve-and-volleyer, mainly. I learned to play tennis on grass courts; grass is not very good most of the time, so you have to get in there and serve and volley.

If you could play against anyone, who would it be?
I’d play against Hewitt.

Have you played a match that was particularly memorable?
I played the number four seed in Austria once.


Rosemary

How and when did you start playing tennis?
I was nine. I started tennis lessons at the school I was going to. I come from a tennis family: my father was president of the Umpire’s Association; my brothers played tennis. I was an usherette at the Australian Open and my brothers were ball boys.

How often do you hit the court?
Twice a week.

Why do you play tennis?
I play it for fitness and for the social side of it – and possibly because I’ve just always played.

What do you enjoy about tennis that you don’t get from another sport?
Probably a bit more fitness. I play golf and you don’t get the same cardio/aerobic exercise that you do from tennis. Obviously I’ve slowed down a bit because I’m old!

What’s your favourite part of coming here?
The social side of it; it’s a social comp. I ran the tennis comps for 16 years and we did a few night comps, but a lot of us have been playing tennis for over 30 years.

Are you a serve-and-volleyer or a baseliner?
Probably a baseliner.

If you could play against anyone, who would it be?
My friends.

Have you played a match that was particularly memorable?
I had a really, really good match at Carmelite Tennis Club when I was in the club champion finals. I won that, so that was very memorable.

Peter

How and when did you start playing tennis?
I started playing when I was six or seven years old. I came over to the tennis hall to play with my dad, to gain some extra skills.

How often do you hit the court?
About once a week now.

Why do you play tennis?
It keeps me active, because teenagers tend to be a little lazy. It’s just a really good game; I really enjoy playing it.

What do you enjoy about tennis that you don’t get from another sport?
I think the fact that you’re friendly with your opponent. In soccer or footy you’re never friendly with your opponents. In this game you shake hands, you have fun; it’s just an overall enjoyable experience of the game.

What’s your favourite part of coming here?
Just playing with my mates and having a great time.

Are you a serve-and-volleyer or a baseliner?
Baseliner, definitely.

If you could play against anyone, who would it be?
I reckon, Rafael Nadal. He’s been my icon ever since I started playing tennis. I just love the way he plays his game; he’s a very fast server and just an absolute champion at the game.

Have you played a match that was particularly memorable?
Not particularly. I haven’t really played any major competitions or anything. Just mainly ‘hit and giggle’ sort of stuff.


Barbara

How and when did you start playing tennis?
I started about 50 years ago. I started as a 12 year old and I’ve been playing ever since.

How often do you hit the court?
Twice a week.

Why do you play tennis?
I love the social aspect, the competitive aspect and the fitness. It’s great fun.

What do you enjoy about tennis that you don’t get from another sport?
I can go anywhere in Australia or overseas; it’s a universal game. You can play it anywhere and you only need a few people to do it.

What’s your favourite part of coming here?
Playing tennis and then socialising with the ladies afterwards and having a coffee; being in the park.

Are you a serve-and-volleyer or a baseliner?
Baseliner.

If you could play against anyone, who would it be?
In the world? I can’t answer that, it’s too hard! I’d have to find someone my own standard, so maybe just my friends.

Have you played a match that was particularly memorable?
Not really, no. They’re all good.

Anne

How and when did you start playing tennis?
When I was at school, about 55 years ago.

How often do you hit the court?
Three times a week.

Why do you play tennis?
Because I like the exercise and I like the social thing of catching up with friends.

What do you enjoy about tennis that you don’t get from another sport?
It’s a very social sport, whereas with golf and things you’re a bit off on your own.

What’s your favourite part of coming here?
To get outdoors; to be with my friends. To play the tennis and to have a bit of a chat and coffee after.

Are you a serve-and-volleyer or a baseliner?
I quite like playing at the net, so I tend to go to the net; then I don’t have to run so much.

If you could play against anyone, who would it be?
I suppose to have a hit with Serena (Williams) would be a bit of fun!

Have you played a match that was particularly memorable?
No, but I’ve played some really good mixed doubles.

Bob

How and when did you start playing tennis?
When I was about nine.

How often do you hit the court?
I try and get out a couple of times a week.

Why do you play tennis?
I think it keeps me off the streets! It’s good for fitness and you meet lots of nice people.

What do you enjoy about tennis that you don’t get from another sport?
The active participation is the most important thing. You’re on your own out there, usually; it’s all up to you.

What’s your favourite part of coming here?
Just because the tournament happens to be here.

Are you a serve-and-volleyer or a baseliner?
I used to be a serve-and-volleyer when I was younger, but because of the different racquets and balls and court surfaces, it’s a little bit riskier to go to the net. Also, I’m probably not as quick as I used to be.

If you could play against anyone, who would it be?
I think I’d like to play Roger Federer.

Have you played a match that was particularly memorable?
In my younger days, I’ve played guys like Newcombe and Roche, but in the seniors, I’ve won about three world titles.

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