84-year-old to captain Australian tennis team in Turkey
BYRON Bay senior Margaret Fisher has ditched bridge and bowls for a spot in the International Tennis Federation Super-Seniors World Team Championships.
The 84-year-old athlete will captain a team of four over-80 Australians from Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast as they take on the world's best in Antalya, Turkey next week.
Ms Fisher is no stranger to the sport, having first picked up a racquet at age 10.
She said her career peaked in 1953 when she made it to Wimbledon where she was knocked out in the first round by USA's Barbara Davidson, who was then ranked number 10 in the world.
"Saving up and getting over there and playing my way into Wimbledon, that was a wonderful ambition," she said.
Despite her love for the sport, Ms Fisher stopped playing for about 20 years after taking up a job in Parliament House in Canberra.
It wasn't until 2009 that her 75-year-old younger brother managed to convince her to get back on the court.
"He encouraged me to start again and it's taken a while, but it's been worth it," she said.
"I got back into it with a vengeance."
Mr Fisher said she keeps fit and competition-ready by hitting the local court four to five times per week and walking her border collie Leo on the beach every day.
"I'm fitter now than I was 20 years ago," she said.
Ms Fisher said she was excited, not nervous, about competing at the Super-Seniors World Championships.
"We're seeded number four, so we're in the top four, but it's going to be a big challenge."
Ms Fisher said her top tennis tips included focus, patience, and simply enjoying the sport.
"In your heart of hearts you know you're not going to win them all, but you still strive to get to the top of that ladder," she said.
Ms Fisher leaves for the World Championships tomorrow.