Sport

Margaret still gives them a serve

Margaret Fisher of Byron Bay, who won a silver medal in the Over-80s mixed doubles at the world seniors tennis championships in Croatia.
Margaret Fisher of Byron Bay, who won a silver medal in the Over-80s mixed doubles at the world seniors tennis championships in Croatia. Marc Stapelberg

BYRON BAY tennis player Margaret Fisher has done plenty since travelling by sea to play at Wimbledonin 1953.

Fast forward to 2012 and she has just returned from two weeks' competition in the Over-80s at the world seniors tennis championships in Croatia.

Margaret, 82, won a silver medal after making the mixed doubles final with 85-year-old Sydney player Doug Corbett.

"I played Wimbledon in 1953 and it took 45 days on a boat to get there," she said.

"I got beaten in the first round by the No 10 seed from America and in doubles. You could be an amateur and play your way in back then.

"It was only eight years after World War II and some of the things we saw over there through parts of Germany were incredible."

Margaret has fit plenty into life with 30 years experience as a school teacher here and abroad.

She spent time in Canberra working for the Hawke Labor Government and lived on the Gold Coast before moving to Byron Bay 18 months ago.

"I'd always enjoyed playing tennis but I didn't start hitting the ball again until I was living near the Miami courts on the Gold Coast," she said.

"I started playing social competition again and it kept rolling from there."

Margaret believes taking on a border collie dog from one of her daughters got her fit enough to play in the seniors tennis championships, which also took her to Turkey two years ago.

In Croatia she was also part of the Australian women's seniors team that finished fifth out of nine countries that competed.

Margaret could still be considered a spring chicken at the tournament with the oldest competitor there in her 90s.

"There was a French woman who was 91 and I take my hat off to her," she said. "She was really mobile for her age and it was great to watch."

Margaret said she would continue playing International Tennis Federation tournaments with at least one more big event.

"Tournaments are still a lot fun," she said. "It was great to be able to go over and have my two daughters with me because I still get nerves before playing.

"It was a big community effort to get me there with donations and local guys taking me for lessons."

Topics:  margaret fisher, tennis


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