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Kathleen Nelson


Children: Kimberly, 48; Eric, 46; Jon, 41

Grandchildren: Katie, 17; Kelly, 15; Cole, 8; Trevor, 13; Tucker, 8; Molly, 5; Charles, 2; Evelyn, 2


Photo of Kathleen Nelson
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What makes tennis a special part of your life?

Tennis, of course, is fun! I have made most of my friends through tennis. At 73, I can still play with young people, as well as my children and grandchildren, boys and girls. Tennis is the best thing on TV. It has variety, different places to play, singles and doubles, indoor and outdoor, the prettiest clothes, and it has kept me in great shape. My children call me after every match with their results, and my teammates hash over every game. I just plain love it, and sometimes you can play for free.


How long have you and your children been playing tennis, and how did you all start to play?

Tennis became a big part of my life when Eric was 10 and we had just moved to Virginia from Massachusetts. His constant banging the ball on my house wall sent us to lessons at Robious Sports and Fitness. With encouragement from his dad, an avid player himself, I chauffeured Eric to lessons, then the high school tennis team and on to college with a tennis scholarship. Now he is 46 and is a 4.5, and I still love watching him play, especially when it is with his sister, Kim, a 4.0 player.


At 50 and an empty nester, it was my turn. My husband and I played enough to get me on a team, where I played 3.0 singles. It was then that I found out that 2.5 was just as fun, haha.

Next came Kim. She started with me but flew up to a 4.0. Her husband and her two girls play regularly now, and Eric’s son enjoys tennis lessons.


Why do you think it’s important to play tennis?

Tennis is a graceful sport. It teaches you to accept defeat or success gracefully. All sizes, shapes and colors can compete, and it is a game you can play almost anywhere and maybe your whole life.


Tell us more about yourself.

In September, I canceled a match to ask my doctor why I was so tired and uncomfortable playing tennis. Three days later, I was in intensive care recovering from a triple bypass. I was up and out of there in five days and walking. My doctors were and still are amazed at my recovery. Already I am back to tennis, even played singles. So, everyone, play tennis and keep your body strong.


For the past 15 years, we have spent every Mother’s Day playing morning tennis with the whole family (grandchildren included) at MAC. Speaking of grandchildren, I register my grandsons for tennis camp every summer.  




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