Lismore success to revive dreams
SITTING in the stands at Lismore Tennis Club may be light years from rubbing shoulders with Roger Federer at grand slams but Tyra Calderwood isn't complaining.
Sydneysider Calderwood won the women's singles title at this year's Lismore Open Championships with a straight sets win over Gabby O'Gorman in yesterday's final.
The 23-year-old was once ranked among the world's top 50 juniors and has played main draw doubles at the grand slams.
Calderwood said she cherished the memories of life at tennis's top table.
"At somewhere like the US Open, all the players eat together," she said.
"You can be ordering a sandwich next to Roger Federer.
"I met him once when he was being coached by Tony Roche. He is an incredible person.
"Walking through the gates of those grand slam tournaments was the best feeling in the world.
"It is something I will always remember."
Calderwood, who now combines playing domestically with teaching tennis at a Sydney school, had to work hard for the win yesterday.
Promising Gunnedah teenager O'Gorman battled hard before going down 6-1 6-4.
Calderwood said she had not given up her dreams on playing at the highest level again.
"When you are in the top 100, you live out of five-star hotels," she said. "For the rest of us, it's an expensive sport.
"For the last few years I haven't been able to put myself in a position to be a professional.
"It can be a grind on tour. With the life, you've got to love tennis and I do. It's a great sport.
"I'm probably going to go overseas this year and see how it goes."