Teresa Catlin winds back the clock to be considered for Great Britain selection
British Open Seniors' win brings Miami into the reckoning
Cambridge tennis coach Teresa Catlin is hoping to pull on a Great Britain tracksuit again this spring – more than 25 years after she last represented her country.
She is in the mix for a place in the Over-45s World Team Championships in Miami at the end of April after unexpectedly winning the British Open Seniors Indoor Championships in her age group.
Still clearly in great shape at 48, Catlin now dedicates her time and energy coaching at the Cambridge Lawn Tennis Club on Wilberforce Road alongside Sue Rich, who first coached her as a junior.
She was encouraged to enter her age group event at Tipton Sports Academy by former top British player Michelle Oldham, a past acquaintance who is still active on the senior circuit.
And Catlin cruised to victory, winning the final against Nicola Herbert not only in straight sets but comprehensively 6-0, 6-0.
“I had no expectations at all,” said Catlin, who played at Wimbledon as well as representing Great Britain in the Maureen Connolly Trophy and European Cup during her professional career.
“I was just looking forward to meeting up with players from my junior days.
“But I could feel the competitiveness in me kick in and I enjoyed the challenge of seeing what I could still manage, occasionally surprising myself although I felt a little rusty.”
That was hardly surprising since Catlin’s competitive tennis since retiring as a professional has been limited to doubles play in the occasional club league match and, in recent weeks, playing for Cambridgeshire’s over-40s.
But there was a clue that she was in with a shout when, last summer, she stood in for an injured junior player in the Cambridge club’s Aegon team and defeated the over-45 clay court national champion without dropping a game.
Now she is facing a two-week wait to hear if she will make the trip to the United States – she is due to hear on February 13, which happens to be her 49th birthday.
Catlin was GB under-18 No 1 and went on to play professional tennis on the WTA tour from 1985-1990, competing in all four Grand Slam Events.
She is now a LTA Level 4 senior performance coach, having worked at a number of clubs in England and Spain before returning to her roots nearly nine years ago.