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post #51 of (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2011, 05:25 PM
country flag insouthflorida
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 3
Re: Margaret Lumia (54yo) - oldest newcomer ever?

GRIP Tennis Magazine from Argentina wrote a comprehensive recap of Lumia's one year on the tour in September. She has a new career high of 683.

I put it through Google translator, which wasn't perfect, but here is is in English.

Margaret Lumia, the tour's oldest doubles player

Ranked in the top 700, an American, is 54 years old and made her professional debut last year being the oldest player in history to reach two finals and have a full season on the circuit

The WTA player Margaret Lumia has a life outside of the ordinary. Last year she decided to start her tennis career, reaching the semifinals of an ITF USD$10,000 tournament in Mexico in her debut, and twelve months later, this player is listed in the top 700 in the world in doubles, a discipline to which she endeavors exclusively . The special features of this story are that she is 54 years old and until September 2010, had never competed in a professional tournament.

Born on April 23, 1957 in the United States, Margaret Lumia is the player with the highest age on the WTA circuit and probably is the oldest rookie in the history of the sport. The American played her first professional tournament in September 2010 at the age of 53 years and reached her highest ranking on the 12th of this month, placing her in position 694 of the world in doubles.

With two children and married for 30 years, Margaret and David Lumia are a couple of successful entrepreneurs in the pharmaceutical world who met in college and in 1990 founded the company Excelsior Medical Corporation, a company that provides various supplies to laboratories. In 2004, they sold the company, which over the years, became the largest manufacturer of pre-filled syringes without needles in the world; It was at this time, at 47 years old, Margaret started training for tennis.

She began by playing the senior circuit USTA - Tennis Association of the United States, achieving the top position in doubles rankings for over age 30, consecutively in both 2009 and 2010. Also, she did well in mixed doubles for over age 30. These are the only records for her in the sport. There is no other trace of this player in college tennis or some other discipline.

A couple of years ago, she had the pleasure of training with Jelena Jankovic for an hour, take a look in the photo gallery. It is outstanding (emphasized) that Margaret Lumia with barely one year on the professional circuit has reached two finals, four semifinals and seven quarterfinals, all in ITF category USD$10,000 tournaments throughout the Americas.

One of her two finals was in Havana, Cuba, where she is pictured with Argentina's Andrea Benitez, her doubles partner at the time. She also reached the final of San Luis Potosi last month together with the Formosan, Benitez, who is 29 years younger.

Lumia has the sense and maturity to take advantage of every situation, compensating for her lack of youth with smart play. She partnered with several players over the year as a professional, including Czech Nikola Hubnerova, Argentine Tatiana Bua, Argentine Andrea Benitez, and the Chilean Andrea Koch-Benvenuto, ITF Futures circuit regulars.

Looking for similar references, we find in recent years, the case of the American Elizabeth Freeman-Young, debuted in January 2002 at age 46, managed to win four matches in qualifier events over a four-year career and peaking at 916 in August 2005 [interestingly, ranking was the result of obtaining loser points in qualifier events never reaching a main draw] . She retired at 51 years of age in 2006.

The 1977 Wimbledon doubles champion, Joanne Russell played an ITF tournament USD$10,000in Williamsburg, VA in October 2009 a month before 55 years, but was eliminated in first round and did not compete since. One of her opponents in the final at Wimbledon, the great Martina Navratilova retired as a tennis professional in August 2006, just months after age 50.

The case for longevity of a rookie, until now, was Susie Witwer, born on November 14, 1949 and in June 2009 at 59 years, got her first and only singles victory in the qualifying event for the ITF USD$10,000 in Brownsville [unfortunately she did not qualify into the main draw]. Still working, the nearly 61 year old can say, with pleasure, that she is the only sixty year old to have achieved a professional tournament victory, by winning a match in the qualifier event at the ITFUSD$10,000 in Evansville in July of this year.

Unlike Witwer, Margaret Lumia is a player who can obtain WTA points and has an admirable record that places her as one of the top 700 out of 1200 ranked tennis players. With the economic security that comes from dollars in her bank account, Lumia can take great pleasure to dedicate herself to play tennis and be a professional on the women's tour. Everything indicates that possibly, at some moment, we will have her in our country. She has already competed in tournaments in the United States, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia and Brazil. It will be a matter of time for us to know more about this tennis player, who is playing at the wrong time of her life.
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