Margaret Fisher on centre court Wimbledon in 1953.
Margaret Fisher on centre court Wimbledon in 1953. Contributed

Age no barrier in tennis

IN 1953, Byron Bay's Margaret Fisher danced with joy on centre court Wimbledon.

She had had just qualified for the world's most famous tennis championship and could not contain her excitement.

Six decades on, the super-fit 81-year-old is celebrating once again, having just been named Australia's Seniors Tennis Champion.

She took the title in the over-80s division of the Australian Seniors Tennis Championships in Perth last week, winning both the singles and the doubles.

It followed an impressive performance at the Australian championships in 2010 where she was runner up in her first serious competition since her return to the sport five years ago.

She also competed in the World Seniors Tennis Championships in Turkey that year.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Margaret now has her sights set on the World Super Seniors Tennis Championships in Croatia in September.

The great-grandmother's return to form comes after a long break from serious competitive tennis, because of a busy family and working life.

Ms Fisher, who has played tennis for 'as long as she can remember' says her athleticism comes from her father, who was a keen sportsman.

He built a table tennis table for Margaret and her brothers when they were young, and that's where she first developed her skills. After cutting her teeth on the grass courts at Albury and various country title wins, Margaret scrimped and saved on her teacher's wage to take a 45-day boat trip to England.

On a visit to centre court before the tournament she found herself awestruck.

"It was overwhelmingly wonderful," she said. "I couldn't believe what it was like.

"I danced on centre court - I even took a bit of it (which she still keeps in a glass case)."

Margaret says she and the other competitors were treated like royalty for two weeks, with Rolls Royce chauffeurs, black tie dinners and strawberries and cream.

The fact she bowed out early was of no consequence.

"It was absolutely like a fairytale," she said.

Fast forward to 2012, and Margaret has high hopes for Croatia.

She'll be training with her coach Stephen Gort to give Croatia everything she's got.

"This might be my last chance," she said with a smile.



Two people treated by paramedics after fire

Two people treated by paramedics after fire

Emergency services respond to house fire

Freezing, windy weather to hit Northern Rivers

premium_icon Freezing, windy weather to hit Northern Rivers

Temperatures to plummet more than 6C below average

The $2b system doomed to fail

The $2b system doomed to fail

Australians are opting out of My Health Record

Local Partners