East Glos member Felicity Thomas reached the singles final of the Over 75’s in the JSH Hotels Tournament on the Adriatic Coast of Italy. It is an ITF Grade A tournament, one level below the world championships.
She lost to Heide Orth of Germany who, according to the ITF, “is the most successful female player worldwide in the history of seniors tennis”. Though Felicity had game points to go 4-all in the first set, Heide typically finds ways out of difficult situations and put the pressure on from that point.
Heide had a successful career on the circuit from around 1962 to 1974, beating the likes of Virginia Wade and Evonne Cawley. She retains amazing enthusiasm for the game and was out practicing at 7am. with the rest of the competitors.
Felicity’s ITF ranking in Over 75’s is now fifth in singles and eight in doubles and she is the highest ranked British player in both.
37 British players competed in the event, which included singles, doubles and mixed doubles across age groups from Over 35 to Over 85. 11 British players won a final with eight others being losing finalists, one being Mark Cox. This is probably the Brits’ most successful year in this longstanding tournament. The overall entry totalled more than 400 men and women.
Photo: Heidi Orth (L), Felicity Thomas (R)