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Doug Skipper returns from representing Australia at the ITF World Seniors Tennis Championships

Not anyone and everyone can lay claim to representing Australia. Doug has recently returned from representing Australia at the ITF World Seniors 40+ Tennis Championships in Miami. A bit of background info on Doug, he would be one of the most humble and sincere individuals you could meet with a strong passion for tennis.

Doug was selected as captain of the Men’s 40’s Australian team which was an added honour. He was also the only player among the Australian teams living in a rural area, he was proud to represent the Eurobodalla region at a World Championship.

A total of 21 other countries took part with many ex-professional players representing their countries. The standard of competition was very high.

Above: Most of the matches were played at Flamingo Tennis Centre in South Miam Beach, which is where the prestigious Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships were played for more than 50 years. Many tennis greats won the Orange Bowl including Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Steffi Graff, Chris Evert, Stefan Edberg, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Roger Federer.

Above: Each match in the teams event consisted of 2 singles and a doubles. Australia’s first match was against the number 7 seed, Great Britain. Australia lost 3-0.

Above: Australia won the second match against Estonia 2-1. Doug’s team mates Richard Sampson and Cameron Venables played a great doubles match to seal victory. Both Estonian players were former Davis Cup players for their country.

Above: The first play-off match was against Russia. Australia lost 2-1.

Above: Although Australia lost against Russia, Doug was very happy with his effort winning his singles match 5-7 6-4 6-0 in three hours. Doug’s team mates are congratulating him after the match.

Above: Australia won the second play-off match against Turkey 2-1. Doug won both his singles and doubles matches.

Australia’s last play-off match was against Mexico. Mexico unfortunately forfeited due to injuries which meant Australia finished 12th out of 21 countries. We were happy with our efforts and the result. Spain was the eventual winner after defeating Netherlands 2-1 in a close final.

The Individual World Championships were played after the Teams World Championships.

Above: Doug reached the Round of 32 in the singles, losing to the number 6 seed and 8th ranked international player Philip Loose (Great Britain), 1-6, 7-6 (6) 6-7 (3). It was a long and close match at 3 hours 20 minutes and the result came down to a few points in the final tiebreaker. It was also physically demanding and both players were exhausted at the end of the match. In the next round Philip retired mid-way through the first set.

Above: Doug’s team mates Richard Sampson, Doug, Tristan Venables (doubles partner in the Individual World Championships), Cameron Venables

In the doubles Doug teamed up with Tristan Venables, the brother of his Australian team mate Cameron Venables. Tristan is a tennis coach living in the USA. It was the first time playing together and Tristan and Doug made it to the semi-finals. One of the highlights in the doubles was beating the No. 2 seeds from USA 6-3, 7-6. In an interesting twist, Tristan and Doug lost the semi-finals to Doug’s Australian team mates and No. 4 seeds Richard Sampson and Cameron Venables. Richard and Cameron lost in the final, but were very happy with making the final. Two other Australians made the semi’s in doubles and singles so Australia was well represented at the Individual World Championships.

Above: Tristan and Doug with medals for making the semi-finals.

Doug has expressed his gratitude to the Batemans Bay Tennis Club and the Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayoral grant in assisting him with some of the costs of the trip. Overall, Doug had a marvellous time and was greatly appreciative of the experience and honour of representing Australia.

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