Super senior enters world tennis contest
A GENEROUS donor who outlaid $4000 in crowdfunding at the last minute has given 87-year-old Margaret Fisher the chance to compete again in the World Super Seniors Championships.
The donor, known only as Saucy Senior Against Ageism, gave half of the amount that Margaret needs to go to Florida in the US in October.
"Everyone had been so generous with their pledges,” Margaret said.
"I've only been in Byron Bay seven or eight years now.”
Tennis Australia has picked Margaret in the over-80s team "with the young ones”, as she puts it.
And she's no slouch when it comes to practice for the prestigious event.
"I'm on the court now five days a week,” she said.
"I just tightened up the schedule now.
"This is serious business - I don't take it for granted.
"I'm feeling good, I'm practising and I enjoy it.”
Last year at the World Super Seniors Championships in Croatia, Margaret won a bronze medal in the doubles over-80s, a second bronze in the mixed doubles over-85s and a silver in the women's singles over-85.
Margaret is no stranger to international tennis tournaments ... in 1953, she competed at Wimbledon.
"I got into the draw for the singles and the ladies' doubles with an Australian girl,” she said.
"We got into the tournament proper, and got to the first round.”
On a visit to centre court before the tournament, Margaret was 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 spent 20 years out of the sport, then picked up a racquet again in 2010.
Two years later she was the Australian Over-80s Women's Tennis Champion and backed up that effort in 2015.
A cancer scare has kept her off the court briefly.
"Once I picked up that racquet again when I turned 80, I reignited my love for the game,” Margaret said.
"Seven years ago, I couldn't even run. I'm as surprised as anyone that I'm running around the court again.
"It's lovely to have a reason to get up each morning and it's wonderful to be strong again.
"I've never been to America, so that should be interesting.”