Tennis Champion in Birchencliffe to represent Team GB

Tennis champion 83-year-old Mary Durrans has been chosen to represent Team GB for the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Super-Seniors World Team Championships.

Mrs Mary DurransMary Durrans, a long standing member of St Philip’s Church in Birchencliffe, will be travelling to Umag, Croatia, this September to take part in the ITF’s Tennis Championships.

Mrs Durrans said, “It’s fantastic! You meet so many interesting people because it’s the World Championships. You meet people from all over the world.”

Mrs Durrans has ‘played tennis all my life’ and was titled as the ITF’s singles champion at the British Open Clay Court Championships in Bournemouth last year.

Mrs Durrans explains, “I actually play tennis for Yorkshire and I kept meeting ladies from down South. They kept telling me to go to the tournament in Bournemouth, so I went and found a partner from Lancashire. Then I was chosen to play for Team GB in Turkey last year.

“Turkey was great! We stayed in a lovely hotel right off the coast,” Mary says. “I played against people from Canada, New Zealand, Germany, France, Argentina and the USA.

“They had an official Opening Ceremony and I had to wear a uniform. It all felt quite posh but I felt very honoured and proud to be holding the Union Jack!”

Mary Durrans playing a game of tennis

This May, Mary won the ITF’s British Senior (Over 80s) Clay Court Doubles Tennis Championship at the tournament in Bournemouth with her doubles partner, 80-year-old Pam McGrath from Preston.

Mrs Durrans explains, “You don’t feel any more pressure than you would in any other game that you play.

“I like competitiveness!”

The image on the right taken by the Huddersfield Examiner.

Last week, Mrs Durrans also spent one week competing at Wimbledon in The British Seniors' Closed Grass Court Championships.

Mary Durrans with some of her tennis trophies

“It wasn’t as good as last year,” she says, “but it was good fun. I lost in the singles and was a little further up in the doubles.”

The image on the left taken by the Huddersfield Examiner.

Mrs Durrans explains, “I was brought up on the Channel Islands and my father and mother always encouraged me to play sport.

“Now I still play tennis at Huddersfield Tennis Club. They have a lot of indoor courts so I play all year round, often with people half my age.

“I’m also a member of Huddersfield Golf Club and I often play 18 holes of golf,” she says. “I played 18 holes of golf yesterday, and I played 18 holes of golf today.”

 

To keep updated with Mrs Durrans’ progress in the Super-Seniors World Team Championships, visit the ITF’s website here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/home.aspx

To listen to Mary's interview with Andy Evans on BBC Radio Leeds, please follow this link (interview is 2 hours 23 mins and 30 seconds into the clip): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02zxz9z#play

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