Ex-ten­nis star pays care home a visit

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Mem­o­ries of a golden era for Bri­tish ten­nis came flood­ing back to res­i­dents of Wood­bridge Lodge care home when they wel­comed a VIP guest to open their au­tumn fair.

Chris­tine Tru­man Janes, still play­ing ten­nis at the age of 77 near her home in Alde­burgh, opened the event at the Kings­ley Health­care run home in Burkitt Road, Wood­bridge, where her hus­band Gerry is now a res­i­dent.

More than 100 peo­ple at­tended the fair, and the for­mer dar­ling of Wim­ble­don was quickly the fo­cus of much rem­i­nis­cence about her mer­cu­rial suc­cesses in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Af­ter be­com­ing the youngest French Cham­pi­onships winner in 1959 at the age of 18, she went on to be run­ner-up in the US Cham­pi­onships in the same year.

Vic­tory at Wim­ble­don was al­ways to elude her but she came tan­ta­lis­ingly close in 1961 when she suf­fered a heavy fall on the grass while lead­ing in the fi­nal, ul­ti­mately los­ing in three sets to An­gela Mor­timer.

Af­ter re­tir­ing from ten­nis in 1975 she re­mained a fa­mil­iar fig­ure at Wim­ble­don in the BBC commentary box.

Chris­tine, whose hus­band was also a top sports­man play­ing rugby for Wasps, says: “I was de­lighted to be asked to open the fair. My hus­band and I en­joyed lis­ten­ing to Suf­folk Phoenix Brass Band who were play­ing at the event.”

The cou­ple have strong ties to Suf­folk hav­ing re­tired to Alde­burgh more than 20 years ago.

Chris­tine, who was still a com­men­ta­tor at Wim­ble­don up to five years ago, says her love af­fair with the area be­gan as a child when her par­ents took the fam­ily on hol­i­day to Thor­pe­ness.

The fair at Wood­bridge Lodge in­cluded a range of craft and cake stalls and there was also a raf­fle, a buf­fet and aro­mather­apy treat­ments on of­fer.

Nearly £100 was raised which will go to the res­i­dents’ fund to pay for an out­ing to a lo­cal Christ­mas mar­ket.

Chris­tine Tru­man Janes (cen­tre) with her hus­band Gerry and Wood­bridge Lodge man­ager Donna Min­shull.

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