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Eat your heart out, Kimiko! Move over, Hepner and Dunbar, because a new definitive women's tennis match has been played! This is why I love tennis. It is the most real-world sport: If you follow your dreams and try your best and don't let your detractors get you down, you will still suck and fail and everyone will laugh at you, and you will go on out the next morning and do the same thing all over again.

Watch: 69-year-old tennis player wins qualifying match for professional tournament

Introducing Gail Falkenberg, 69-year-old ITF tennis-match-winning extraordinaire
Sean Gibson
11 APRIL 2016 • 2:08PM
The Telegraph

A 69-year-old tennis player has incredibly*beaten a woman 47 years her junior at*an ITF25k tournament in Pelham, Alabama.

Gail Falkenberg secured her first win since making a comeback in 2011 - then*aged just 64 - to set up an unbelievable tie with Taylor Townsend in the next round.

Townsend - an up-and-coming 19-year-old who*reached the third round of the US Open singles*in 2014 and who was ranked 94th in the world just over a year ago - already has four ITF titles to her name.

What little action is available of Falkenberg's historic win captures*an admittedly slow-paced game -*but it's certainly more*than this writer will ever achieve on the ITF circuit.

The footage shows Falkenberg's opponent, Rosalyn Small, struggling to live with Falkenberg's underarm serve and precise net shots.

Prior to this event, Falkenberg's post-2011 career had consisted of 32 defeats in 32 matches, with a record of 64 sets out of 64 lost and only 29 of 413 games won.

By contrast, the 22-year-old Small had*laboured to 25 defeats from 25 matches, 50 games lost out of 50 contested, and only 9 games won from 306.

The match ended 6-0 6-1 in Falkenberg's favour, so at least Small now has a game win under her belt.

One would think the general public could*only admire the fortitude and athleticism of a 69-year-old continuing to compete at such a high level of sport, yet there are many who have reacted to the Falkenberg-Townsend match-up with anger.

The man who posted the footage of Falkenberg's victory on Facebook -*a tennis coach called Roy Coopersmith,*who showed the video to*Taylor Townsend - called the circumstances "obscene".

"Where is the realisation [that] this is a business[?] This isn't a joke[,] this makes it into a joke,"*he said.

The gravest condemnation came from a*user appearing to be Kathleen Horvath - the former top-10-ranked American tennis star*-*who referred to the two players as "Dumb and Dumber".

She branded the upcoming match "a real joke and a total waste of time for Taylor Townsend".

"She ought to play righty for fun," Horvath added, referring to Townsend's natural preference for playing left-handed.

ITF records trace Falkenberg's first competitive match back to 1986, when she would have been 39 years old.

A break between 1988 and 1994 was followed by numerous tournament appearances through to 1999, when*Falkenberg began her 12-year retirement aged 52.

Despite the criticism, some fans on*social media still supported Falkenberg's efforts and voiced their admiration for her exploits.

Even one user who rued the lack of quality at the ITF25k tournament, said: "Congratulation to the 65 yrs old lady (sic)*for still playing and enjoying competition."

Falkenberg is due to play Townsend on Monday, with Coopersmith promising more videos on social media.
 
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