Sport

More than 800 players converge on Canberra for Australian Senior Tennis Championships preview

They range in age from their mid-30s to their late 80s, but that won't stop more than 800 tennis players from across the country lighting up the courts in Canberra.

Aces, volleys and forehand and backhand winners will be on the menu for the next fortnight as the Australian Seniors Tennis Championships return to the ACT for the first time in eight years.

Australian Masters Tennis Championships at the National Hockey Centre in Lyneham. From left Linda Culcutt, 46, Tim ...
Australian Masters Tennis Championships at the National Hockey Centre in Lyneham. From left Linda Culcutt, 46, Tim Harris, 55, John Greenup, 65, Don Biddle, 75, Ron Moulton, 81, Peter Breugelman, 70, Alan Wilmshurst, 61, and Ros Balodis.  Photo: Matt Bedford

The Australian Teams Carnival gets under way on Monday before the competition rises in intensity with the individual titles of singles, doubles and mixed doubles from January 12-16.

The annual tournament rotates to a different state or territory every year and is used as a qualifier to select the Australian team for the world championships, which this year will be held in France in June.

It will be the first tournament at the revamped Canberra Tennis Centre at Lyneham, with three different surfaces used - clay, synthetic grass and hardcourt.

Matches will also be played at the Melba, Belconnen and Weston Creek tennis clubs in the first week.

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The youngest player is 35, with age divisions in five-year increments up to 85-plus, with the oldest player in his late 80s.

Ron Moulton, 81, from Adelaide, will play in the men's over-80 age division, and is a regular visitor having played since 2001.

"I still have some good days and some not-so-good days," Moulton said. "I recently played in Austria last June in the tournaments there and really had a good time.

"I started playing tennis as a kid, but have really played more the last 15 years than in the rest of my life."

Tournament director John Stark said the event continued to grow every year.

"This event only takes place in Canberra once every eight years and it's our turn to host it," Stark said. "It's the biggest seniors event in Australia in terms of tennis, so it's a very important event for us."