Re: Margaret Lumia (54yo) - oldest newcomer ever?
Margaret Lumia (54)is the oldest ranked player on the tour and must be the oldest rookie in the history of the game. She played her first professonal tournament in Sep 2010 at the age of 53. Since then, she reached the finals of Havana, four semi finals (Mazatlan, Bucaramanga, Ribeirao, Sao Paulo) and two quarter finals (Rancaqua, Encarnacion) of ITF $10,000 events.
I watched her play with Andrea Benitez in Havana last week at an ITF $10k. Two seeded singles players got heat stroke during the tournament and retired. The humidity and heat oppression was unbearable. And the extra heat coming off the hard court ... makes Miami appear mild! The semi final match was terrific tennis. Lumia/Benitez won the third set 16-14 after saving 6 match points against them and finally converting their third match point. Their first round and quarter final matches were easily won. Unfortunately, they appeared flat for the finals which was not enough to get the job done.
Looking at the ITF records, Lumia has had several partners. At the pro level, everybody has a good partner and all know how to play the game. These professionals would easily expose and exploit a weak player on the court. I have watched many Futures matches - and these girls all hit the felt off the ball. In doubles, all have great serves, returns and love to go right at the net guy. Lumia obviously has the skill to compete and win. And her WTA ranking continues to climb - for sure, under 800 with her points from Cuba.
USTA records show she was ranked number 1 in 30s doubles in 2009 and 2010. Also shows she was ranked number 1 in Open doubles and had nice success playing open and 30s mixed. Besides the USTA, Lumia has no other history. No college play. Nothing. She has come out of nowhere to be a ranked player facing kids one half to a third her age. I find her amazing and great for the sport of tennis. It shows that hard work does pay off.