Teresa Catlin earns two titles at British Open Seniors Indoor Championships
New British Indoors 50-plus champion Teresa Catlin has called on more club players to enter the national competitions.
It was the lack of entries rather than the quality of the competition that most concerned the Cambridge coach as she swept to both the singles and women’s 50-54 doubles titles at the Seniors Championships at Tipton without needing to move out of cruise mode.
“The lady I played in the first round of the singles was apologising before we started because she knew she was not really going to give me a game but said she had entered simply because of a lack of people in her club to play singles against,” said Catlin.
“It would have been great for her to have played a few games against similar players before coming up against me.”
Catlin did not drop a game on the way to the singles title and only two – in the final – of the doubles where she played with former GB junior rival, friend and doubles partner Anne Meredith (nee Simpkin).
She is now a virtual certainty for the GB team for this summer’s World Team 50-54 Championships in Portugal if she wants to play.
She also lamented the lack of more experienced women in the tournament, which catered for all age groups from 35+ to 85+.
Her section attracted a mere eight players and the 45-49, which she won last year, was down from six to four, with no doubles competition at all.
By contrast, the men’s 45-49 singles started with 32, the 50+ with 33 and the 55+ with 39.
Top seeded Catlin was never troubled throughout the singles and the final against Siobhan Nicholson was a totally one-sided affair after her opponent had given her all to win her semi-final against bitter rival Brigid Amos and picked up a groin injury in the process.
The Cambridge player turns 50 next month, but as one of the spectators commented “looks 22”, and was in total control, breaking in the opening game and using her slice effectively against a player she knew would prefer hard-hit returns to the baseline.
It was all over in just 40 minutes, with Catlin dropping just nine points in each set and completing the whitewash with her third ace of a match which was effectively a training exercise to work on getting to grips with her remodelled serve.
“It was an enjoyable weekend but much more for the social side, catching up with old friends and meeting new people,” she said.
“It was wonderful to play with Anne, bringing back so many memories of junior days. I was very pleased with our teamwork after 32 years apart.”
Catlin, who returned to competitive singles tennis a year ago at the same venue, has gone on to earn a World top 10 ranking after playing in a handful of qualifying tournaments, including the World Individual and Team championships (over-45), where she helped GB to a silver medal in Miami last October.
There was further success for Cambs players as Pieter Van Houten won the 50+ men’s title to complete the double in the age group.
Sue Mitchell and Pat Foster reached the semi-finals of the 60s’ ladies doubles, David Mills got to the last four of the 50s’ singles and the 45s’ doubles, though his partner was forced to retire through injury.
Alan Jordan reached the quarter-finals of the 55+ singles.