National tournament serving up great tennis

Sue Jamieson is looking forward to a slice of the action next week. Photo: John Borren.

At 70 years old, Sue Jamieson doesn’t consider herself a senior - especially when it comes to tennis.

There are players 20 years older than her still competing at a national level.

The Tauranga local is one of 230 players competing in the 2022 Tennis Seniors National Championships from January 26-30.

The tournament, for players aged between 30 and 90, is being contested across four Tauranga venues, with its headquarters at Ōtūmoetai Tennis Club.

Sue has been playing tennis for more than 30 years, and started by chance after moving to Ratapiko in her mid 30s.

The mother of five was asked to make up a team, so she picked up a racket and hasn’t put it down since.

She has stuck with the game “for exercise, meeting new people and going to different places”.

“Also, for the challenge to see how far you could go,” says Sue.

And she has gone far; Sue has ranked in the top 10 internationally in singles, doubles and mixed tennis in previous years.

“My highlight was finishing 2017 as number one in the mixed doubles.”

The player also has 20 titles to her name, but she isn’t boastful about it.

“Other people have got 30, 40 or 50 titles. It’s all relative.”

When asked if she’s a tennis legend, she retorts with: “Well I’m old, if that qualifies?” whilst chuckling.

“As you do better, you want to keep getting better.

“The age is going up, so you’ve got to keep trying to get better, to keep up.”
The septuagenarian is looking forward to next week’s tournament and will play in all three categories -singles, doubles and mixed.

Her main aim is to survive the heat, but like many other “senior” players Sue also enjoys the camaraderie.

“I’m not going out to try and beat everyone,” she says.

“You go out, you do your best and what will be will be. If they’re better then they win.”

Tournament organiser Dawn Morrison says contenders are coming from across the country to the International Tennis Federation sanctioned competition.

“There’s plenty of tennis to be had, and it should be a good event,” she says.

“They’re a very enthusiastic lot, the seniors. Some die-hards will play in all three categories.”

Sue is one of those die-hards, and although she says it’s time to slow down, with many more matches to be contested it doesn’t seem likely.

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