As part of a four-strong Great Britain team, club member Felicity Thomas has won The Queen’s Cup (Women’s Over 75’s) in the World Team Championships in Umag, Croatia.
Felicity takes up the story.
I am thrilled to have won my first Gold medal at world level. Our success was spearheaded by Frances Maclennan (All England Club) and Jenny Waggott ( AEC and Warwick Boat Club), who played all the singles matches as well as the decisive doubles in the final two matches. Jackie Boothman (Bridgwater) and I played the earlier doubles, so ours were very much supporting roles.
Seeded 4, the format demanded that we beat Germany (seeded 3), then France (2) and finally USA (1) – ending eight years of USA dominance of the Queen’s Cup. Fran and Jenny were true stars, but we all practised and worked well with one another, vital in an intensive team effort.
I had won silver in 2007 when I played at number one in New Zealand watched by our son, Stephen, and his family. That was something special but this achievement, after sixteen years in and out of the GB team, is a dream come true.
It was a very moving moment to be in the spotlight in the huge ATP stadium, with fellow Brits and scores of other competitors standing to two verses of the National Anthem.
Seven weeks previously I feared I would not be fit for Croatia, following an injury during a match at Warwick Boat Club, but prompt and professional medical attention and encouragement ensured a gradual recovery.
I withdrew from the British Grass Courts Championships held at East Glos in August but sought reinstatement though not fully recovered. It was invaluable in getting back to competitive tennis and testing my fitness.
The World Individual Championships now follow, but my expectations are not high. I have not been able to emulate my successes of 2017 as new players have come into the age group. So I go in unseeded, amongst very strong competition.
Whatever happens, this has been a memorable tournament and the pinnacle of my tennis career.