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Cambridge Lawn Tennis Club's Teresa Catlin suffers quarter-final disappointment at World Team Seniors' Tennis Championships

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Teresa Catlin was representing Great Britain in Portugal
Teresa Catlin was representing Great Britain in Portugal

Tie-break defeat in a critical match cost Teresa Catlin and her GB team the chance of a semi-final spot at the World Team Seniors' Tennis Championships in Portugal last week.

She was beaten in the most brutal way in the quarter-finals of the Maria Esther Bueno Cup – the over-50s competition – and that gave the Americans an unassailable 2-0 lead.

The Cambridge LTC coach had fought back from 5-2 down to lead 6-5 in the deciding set against the No 1 player for the defending champions and top seeds when she was hit by cramp in her foot.

American Debbie Spence-Nasm took the game to force a tie break and went on to win an absorbing match in Estoril.

With nothing to play for, the injury-ravaged GB team conceded the ‘dead’ doubles rubber.

It left Teresa and her team-mates, Siobhan Nicholson, Katie Shaw and Jane Hunter, in a fifth-place play-off at the National stadium in nearby Lisbon against Italy, in which Jane and Teresa, both still carrying injuries, lost both singles and GB conceded the doubles.

Earlier in the week, GB had eased through their group games. They opened with a 3-0 win over Sweden in which Catlin played singles and doubles with Siobhan.

Despite waking up a neck injury, she crushed her Brazilian opponent 6-0, 6-0 the following day and was rested for the doubles.

The break wasn’t enough, however, and at the on-site physio’s orders, she was a restless spectator for the 3-0 win over South Africa to set up the showdown with the Americans, a contest which left Teresa angry and frustrated.

“What a bad time to get cramp,” she said. “But I really should have finished it in two and then it wouldn’t have mattered.”

Teresa had rocked the American by taking the first set 6-3 with a variety of strokes which kept her opponent guessing , but allowed the American to dictate the pace in the second and use her cross court forehand to good effect, losing by the same margin.

Teresa is this week contesting the individual over-50 championships in Lisbon, playing in the singles, women’s doubles with GB team captain Nicholson, and mixed doubles with Trumpington-based Dutchman Pieter van Houten (David Lloyd Centre).

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