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From Turkey to Tucson

October 28, 2011 02:18 PM
Cathie Anderson in action at the 2011 USTA League 4.5 Adult National Championships in Tucson, Ariz.
Natalie Hand in action at the 2011 USTA League 4.5 Adult National Championships in Tucson, Ariz.
By Adam Kempa, Special to USTA.com

Tucson, Arizona – One week ago Cathie Anderson was representing her country at the ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships in Antayla, Turkey and staying at a resort that had 55 clay tennis courts.  Seven days and 7,065 miles later Cathie is here in Tucson, Arizona trying to win a national championship in the USTA Legaue 4.5 Adult level with her team from Southern California. 

Cathie arrived back in the states only 3 days ago, so it has been an extremely quick turnaround, giving her almost no time to get acclimated again to the ten hour time difference and recover from her jet lag in time to compete again.  "Night and day are complete opposites in the United States and Turkey, so the biggest challenge was getting back on a natural sleep schedule," said Cathie.  "I just tried to get as much sleep as I could and get back on a normal schedule, and get a little bit of practice in each day to get my feet back and get ready for this weekend."  Cathie was on the Kitty Godfree Cup team (W65), where her team took home the bronze by winning the third place playoff.

Awaiting Cathie in her first match of the weekend was one of the youngest competitors in the tournament, Natalie Hand from Texas, who just turned 21.  Cathie said the toughest part about playing such a young opponent is that the style of play has completely changed over the generations.  "Nobody in my age group, or even within 10-15 years of me, really uses top spin, but that’s one of the main tools used by the younger generation."  Combining that with the differences in the playing surface from the slow, red clay courts in Turkey to the green hard surface courts here in Tucson, and it was a complete 180 in style of play from last week.

Cathie, now 69 years of age, takes every opportunity she can to play tennis.  She competes in every USTA league that she qualifies for; the Adult league, Senior league, and Super Senior league. 

Throughout her career she has traveled all around the globe to compete in tennis tournaments.  She’s been to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, Austria and Germany, to name a few.  She said it’s great to see the big cities and experience the culture, including the bazaars in Turkey where shop owners sell their craft like used car salesmen, but her favorite part of traveling is experiencing the nature and wildlife.  Taking a tram up into the mountains of the Swiss alps and seeing sea lions and albatross with 12 foot wing spans in New Zealand were two of the highlights she mentioned from her world travels. 

Whatever your profession or interests are, we can all learn a thing or two from Cathie Anderson.  We should all strive to have as much passion and love for our careers as she does for tennis, and take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way in life. 

Click here for more stores from the USTA League National Championships.


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