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Old Sep 29th, 2011, 02:35 AM   #46
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Re: Margaret Lumia (54yo) - oldest newcomer ever?

still no video? )
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Old Sep 30th, 2011, 05:17 PM   #47
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Re: Margaret Lumia (54yo) - oldest newcomer ever?

Here's a link to an interview people from ESPN Latin America made to Andrea Benítez, where she talks about Margaret Lumia and how she and her husband have been funding her. She also mentions that Margaret's dream is making the top 500.

http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/blog...ballos&cc=7586

(It's in spanish)

Oh, and Margaret Lumia and her husband also funded Tatiana Búa's recent trip to Bolivia to play three $10Ks. I'm starting to really like this couple .
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Old Sep 30th, 2011, 05:58 PM   #48
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Re: Margaret Lumia (54yo) - oldest newcomer ever?

OK, I translated the story, mostly because it is a wonderful one, and because I have a lot of free time in my hands lately



Almost a year ago, we told Andrea Benitez's story, about an argentinian player who was looking to get back on the professional circuit after suffering from unexpected tennistic setbacks. By that October of 2010, Andrea had no ranking, could barely gather the necessary money needed to travel, and only dreamed of the possibility of competing regularly again.

Today, Benítez is the number 339 of the WTA, has won 5 ITF Women's Circuits in 2011 and is longing for much more. However, her story is still catching: it includes gun fights, trainings with a transexual player and doubles competitions...with a 54yo partner!

For all of this, Andrea Benítez's tennis life deserves a second chapter, and this is it:

Q: When you arrived to México a couple of days ago, did you remember that this is where you started your comeback, a year ago?
A: Yeah, totally. To think that a year ago I had almost nothing, and now look where I am. It's a pretty nice feeling.

Says Andrea Benítez. And she won't stop smiling. Right here, in San Luis Potosí, is where the formosian arrived to retake her pro career. Now, 12 months after, she's the number 6 argentinian player on the WTA rankings. And hopes to be selected for Argentina's Fed Cup team. Not too shabby for a 25yo girl who, for a moment, thought she'd lost it all.

"I did not expect to get back so quickly" says Andrea, with a cup of tea in her hands. "This year I even had a streak of 22 consecutive wins (she won titles in Córdoba, San Pablo, Itaparica I and Itaparica II). I faced good players, girls who play Fed Cup. I would just get on the court, play and eventually win. 'Hey, stop there, Djokovic' people would say."

If it's inside the courts that Andrea's career took a spectacular turn, it is outside of them that she wrote several chapters of a life of adventures. And the first one was in Monterrey, México.

Nuevo Leon's state capital is a pushing, rich, industrially active city, with the advantage of being about 200km away from the US border. That's where Benítez set her camp, last year, for her comeback to proffesional tennis. And that's also where the damned violence of organize crime set its camp to harass mexican ground.

Andrea lived and trained in the Monterrey Olympic Village, that sits next to the Fourth Militar Region, head base of the Mexican Army in the regiomontana city, and main target for potential cartel attacks. "The tennis courts were surrounded by armed soldiers" says Andrea. "Sometimes, the soldiers would dress up as tennis players to pass as civilians.But you could see the points of their rifles and machine guns coming out of their tennis bags".

Benítez still has a picture taken with the 4th region Commandant. But she doesn't forget the daily fear she felt towards the possibility of getting stuck in the middle of a gun fight between armed forces and cartel members. Until one day she had to live that situation, and say goodbye to Monterrey.

"We where downtown -recalls Andrea-, getting out of a shopping mall with a friend. And right when we where about to cross the street, we saw a van approaching us at maximum speed. They were shooting from the inside of it. And behind it, the Police, also shooting. We were saved miraculously."

Benítez changed México for Brazil. She got support from the Hebraica Club in San Pablo, and reset her camp in paulista lands. But Chile would be the place of her next adventure, when she got a work proposal from Andrea Paredes, the transexual who has played in two ITF Women's Circuits this year thanks to a couple of Wild Cards received in exchange of publicity.

"I had just reached the final of a tournament, and had the next week off. Andrea Paredes contacted me so that I would train her during those days I'd be in Santiago de Chile. I got together with her, designed a practice schedule and the next day we hit the courts".

Benítez had heard about Paredes, but had never seen her play. When they were on the court, she was surprised. And not for good. "It was impossible for her to just get the ball back", she remembers. The rest of the week was, then, all served balls for the chilean to hit. But the curious thing happened later: Paredes asked the argentinian to get back to training in Buenos Aires, during the tournament disputed in the Tenis Club Argentino, and Benítez couldn't do it. The same situation showed up in Itaparica, Brazil, in May. Andrea (the good one) was fresh off her winning streak, and wouldn't step on a tennis court unless it was for a match. "And since I said no, she seems to have gotten mad. From then on, she would be on the stands for every match I played. But she would cheer for every point my opponents made, screaming" remembers Benítez. And won't stop smiling.

Paredes' was not the only unusual proposition given to her this year. What happened to her at the chilean city of Concepción would be bigger than anything else so far: Margaret Lumia, a 54yo american, hired her to play doubles with her in proffessional tournaments. Ticket planes, hotels and the rest of expenses would be payed by the veteran tennis player. Andrea was supposed to provide the talent in order for the couple to win a match.

"Never in my life had I heard such a proposal. But I always say yes to everything, everything is good for me" says Andrea, wearing a black Adidas jacket, her lower lip pierced and hair covering her right eye. In that case, the story had a more than happy ending, that is still being written. "I met Marge and her husband David last year in Mazatlan. She was playing doubles with a czech player, Hubnerova. After that, Mr. Lumia saw me playing in Rancagua, this year. And in Concepción, they offered me a contract to play together. It was a verbal agreement. And we arranged that they would call me back."

And they did, three days later. The stepped on the courts by the end of March in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, and got to the semifinals. They got to the same result in San Pablo, a few weeks later. Until by the end of June, in La Habana, they got to their first final, something Lumia hadn't achieved with any of her previous partners."

"Margaret is the oldest player in the Circuit. She started playing at an advanced age. Considering her age, she's a very good player. They have a lot of money, own a house bigger than this hotel, with a grass tennis court. When I told them I was available to go to Brazil, they had already sent the plane tickets 20 minutes later. And David is the one in charge of the managing: he studies which are the convenient tournaments to go, has a track of our rival's records, looks at every single detail. Margaret's dream is to be a top 500 doubles player."

And with Andrea as a partner, the dream is not far from being achieved: Lumia is ranked 762 in the doubles ranking. And together, they are already in the finals of the San Luis Potosí future, being played this week in the Libanese Potosí Club. The friendship between the american couple and the argentinian player has grown. Beyond contracts, they are joined by affection. "Despite all the money they have, they are very simple people. That's why we get along" says Benítez.

"And what is your goal right now regarding your ranking?" I ask Andrea, while the Westin Bar in San Luis Potosí starts to close and the story of an incredible year starts to reach its ending.

"Right now I'm not concerned about my ranking. I'm playing. I'm enjoying and doing what I like. Whenever I tell my dad how well I've been doing, he just can't believe it. Now I'm going on a trip to play $25K, $50K and $75K tournaments. I'm traveling with Margaret and her husband. I'm doing it thanks to them. A couple of days ago, in Bolivia, a player approached me and asked me: "Why do you laugh every time you miss a shot?" "She thought I was making fun of something, and I apologized to her, told her I didn't really notice it. I'm just happy".

Q: In 2006, you got to be the number 251 in the world, what if you improve that ranking now?
A: I didn't even know what I was doing back then, didn't have a notion of it. Today is different. I remember how anxious I was a year ago when my first ranking points kicked in. And now, even though I say I don't care about it, I have that number 251 in mind. I want it. I'm looking for it. And when I reach it, I'm going to celebrate like crazy".

Says Andrea. And she won't stop smiling.

Last edited by Tripp : Sep 30th, 2011 at 09:03 PM.
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Old Sep 30th, 2011, 07:47 PM   #49
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Re: Margaret Lumia (54yo) - oldest newcomer ever?

Interesting story - thanks for translating and posting

Good luck to Andrea and Margaret..
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Old Oct 1st, 2011, 07:00 AM   #50
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Re: Margaret Lumia (54yo) - oldest newcomer ever?

LOL from the story Andrea Paredes seems to be a major b*tch

The fact that Lumia is funding other players and giving them a chance besides herself is nice enough to like the lady
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Old Dec 9th, 2011, 05:25 PM   #51
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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.

http://www.revistagrip.com.ar/?Marga..._s=&_page=tags

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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Old Dec 9th, 2011, 11:01 PM   #52
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Re: Margaret Lumia (54yo) - oldest newcomer ever?

Omg.. at the Paredes story...
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 10:45 PM   #53
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Re: Margaret Lumia (54yo) - oldest newcomer ever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani12 View Post
This lady started playing at 60 years of age in 2009. She is 62 now, looks like she's complete and utter crap though. Still...giving it a go at 60 is quite brave.

Susie Witwer - born 1949

http://www.itftennis.com/womens/play...layer=45004030
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmario View Post
i sooo need a video!
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmario View Post
still no video? )
Video of 62 year old Susie Witwer losing 60 60 against 15 year old Antonella Bramato (member of Mexican junior Fed Cup) in qualifying of $10K Mexico City 2012.



Her reaction at match point

Susie



From her facebook:

I am an X Cheerleader/ Actor/singer/dancer/writer, from Montana, which is like a different country.I was born lucky to have great parents, and 5 fantastic brothers and sisters, and a huge wonderful family.We are a very funny family and just enough CRAZY to make us interesting!!I am so lucky to have the most wonderful friends, who are like family to me. I have been a Flight Attendant since 1970.TWA, Ryan International, And now American Airlines.Married to Sam, a Chicago Attorney,Mother of two Movie and TV stars. Sam Stewart, is starring on his own Show called "Being Human".Michael, just got Best Actor in a Short Film.My greatest job in the world was being a Mother!I am the oldest woman on the International Tennis Federation. I wanted to go on the Tennis Tour since I was 17, I am having the time of my life. I love meeting all these different people from around the world on the tour.I am definately a people person, and my passions are Family,Dance, tennis, and visiting with older people, I learn alot about life from them.My motto is if it isnt Fun why are you doing it!I try to do a good deed every day which makes me a very happy person!
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:14 AM   #54
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Re: Margaret Lumia (54yo) - oldest newcomer ever?

^ I would so not lose a single game against her
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