Eighty years young and called up for GB team - that's Exmouth tennis player Tom Eastop.
PUBLISHED: 09:43 16 June 2011
Exmouth will have an involvement in the over-80's Tennis World Championships in Turkey later this year.
Tom Eastop has been selected to represent Great Britain at the week-long tournament in Atalya, Turkey.
Tom, who reached the grand age of 80 earlier this year has previously represented Scotland at similar events but this is his first call-up to the GB team.
He first played tennis as a 9-year old in Glasgow when he joined a local club where an Aunt played.
He then stayed with the sport, representing the Royal Navy during a three year stint of national service when he took a short-term commission and was based at Manadon, Plymouth.
Remarkably, after so many years of playing the sport his injury count is very low. He has suffered only the occasional touch of tennis elbow with his worst injury being an Achilles tendon issue that he picked up playing 5-aside football!
He retired to live in Exmouth and began playing locally at the Golf and Country Club and then from the Cranford Club and these days he is a playing member at the Exmouth tennis Club.
As to what drives him on he says: “I simply enjoy playing tennis and have been very fortunate to be able to continue playing it for a very respectable time”.
In the October event Tom will play as part of the team which, initially sees the competition run on a league basis. After the team event there are singles and doubles events and he will be entering both.
His moist recent tournament was in Nottingham where he brushed aside John Drum 6-1, 6-1 before seeing off Darius Panah-Izadieven more emphatically, 6-1, 6-0.
In the semi-final he was edged out after a lengthy contest by the number one sees, Paul Drane, beaten 7-6, 5-7, 5-10, the latter set going through to the tie break.