Durham student is tennis champ

Rosie Pybus, from the North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club, which picked up seven trophies at the fourth Metro Tennis Competition in London.
Rosie Pybus, from the North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club, which picked up seven trophies at the fourth Metro Tennis Competition in London.
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A VISUALLY impaired tennis player has served up a real ace.

Rosie Pybus led the honours after swinging her way to victory in a national tennis competition.

She proved herself a force to be reckoned with, along with four team members from the North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club.

University student Rosie, 20, was competing in the fourth Metro Tennis Competition in London, winning the ladies doubles.

The competition, at Islington Tennis Centre, saw 24 visually-impaired competitors from around the country battle it out in specially-adapted matches.

The Club, which meets at Sunderland Tennis Centre, picked up an impressive seven trophies across ladies, mens and mixed single and double matches.

Rosie, who is studying English at The University of York, said: “On the way down I felt really out of my depth, but when we got there, I loosened up.

“It was really good to meet other people from places in the country that I would never have come across if it was not for tennis.”

Along with Rosie, from Durham, Wendy Glasper, Adele Waterfall-Brown, Jonathon Nesbitt and John Hawkins have been training hard since Wendy and Adele set up the club at the Tennis Centre last October.

And their hard work paid off at the competition, with John winning the men’s Doubles and mixed VI and sighted, with sighted partner Jo Cunliffe, Adele coming runner-up in the ladies doubles and mixed VI and sighted and Jonathon Nesbitt named player of the competition.

Jo Cunliffe, from Durham & Cleveland Lawn Tennis Association, based at the Tennis Centre in Silksworth, said: “What a weekend we all had. The standard of play was amazing and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

“Events don’t simply happen over night and what the Metro team continue to achieve is outstanding and I feel really proud to have played a part over the weekend.”

To find out more about the club, contact Adele Waterfall-Brown on 0772 510 6573 or email adele4321@googlemail.com

Twitter: @janethejourno


Tennis for blind and partially sighted people is played using the International Tennis Federation’s Rules for Tennis with a few exceptions:

The game is played on a standard badminton court, where the service line is parallel with the baseline.

A ‘short tennis’ or junior racquet and a standard sound ball is used.

The server calls: “ready” the opponent replies “yes”, the server then has five seconds to play the serve. If the server does not say “ready” or the opponent does not say “yes”, and the server hits his serve, the service is a let.

A player can ask the umpire the nature of their service fault so that they can rectify their next attempt.

Players are allowed up between one and three bounces at all times, depending on the extent of their vision.

Both a server and a receiver can ask an umpire or ball person their own positions on court.

In mixed doubles, sighted players are not allowed to volley.