Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Simpson now an Australian champion after faultless tournament

June Simpson is still coming to grips with her new identity as an Australian champion.

DAMEN FRANCIS January 22, 2013 4:10am

Shepparton tennis player June Simpson now has an Australian title to her name.

June Simpson is still coming to grips with her new identity as an Australian champion.

But that is exactly what she has become, after winning the women’s 70 and over doubles event at the Australian Tennis Seniors Individual Championships in Perth last week.

The Shepparton Lawn player joined forces with Helen Muir of Western Australia and, despite having never previously played together, the pair clicked immediately and won the title without dropping a set.

The duo defeated No.1 seeds Mary Gordon and Judy Hancy in the final, 6-4 6-3.

‘‘Helen was fantastic to play with, nice and steady and she didn’t get rattled, I get a bit nervous sometimes, I’m not used to that big time stuff,’’ Simpson said.

‘‘I was serving the last game and I was really trying to serve wide for my partner, the flipping thing went in and (the opponent) hit it back softly and my partner just grabbed it on the net and put it away.

‘‘It seems so unreal, you play the matches and don’t think about how you’re playing for an Australian title, but I guess that’s what we were doing.’’

One week earlier, Simpson was part of the Victorian women’s 70-74 team that finished runner-up at the Australian Tennis Seniors Teams Carnival.

It was not the first time she had represented her state in the teams event, but she had never before participated in the individual competition.

The mother of seven and grandmother of 20 said she had played the sport for a long time and loved playing whenever she can.

Simpson thanked friends Jenny Grose and Judy Buzza for giving her extra practice and said it may not be the last we see of the Simpson-Muir partnership.

‘‘Helen said to me that if we had success over there she would come over and play with me in the Victorian Championships, so we’re going to play together in Melbourne in March,’’ she said.

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