Veteran Cooper excels to claim national title
Canterbury tennis player Jasper Cooper has been crowned the British over-65 indoor champion.
Cooper won the national title at Tipton and only dropped one set in the process.
The Canterbury Lawn Tennis Club player came through a tough final against Godfrey Evans after beating Peter Pharo, Paul Denyer and Boyd Brackstone.
Cooper said: “I’m thrilled. I have worked hard on my tennis. Even at my age I’m trying to improve as much as I can.
“It was a tough route to the final as the matches were gradually getting harder as I went along.
“The final was hard-fought. I won a tight first set 6-3. Then my level dropped just a little, enough to lose the second set 6-0.
“I stayed calm and regrouped well to take the match 6-4, ending with a winning backhand and then a winning dropshot. It was a great feeling to shake hands with the title in the bag.”
Cooper has won five British veterans’ doubles titles and this is his second British singles title – his first being in 1999. At one stage he did not think he would able to play in the competition because of a shoulder problem.
He said: “I felt I had a good chance of winning before the tournament but then my shoulder started playing up. I had an injection on my shoulder so I was not able to practice as much as I would have liked.
“I went up there thinking I may not be able to play in the tournament.” The 65-year-old is now ranked 26th in the world in the over-65s age group following his win.
Cooper will play in around 10 British veterans’ tournaments this year and will play in the World Individual Championships in Croatia in September.
He is also a strong contender
‘Even at my age I’m trying to improve’
for selection for the GB team for the World Team Championships, which he has never been selected for.
Tennis practice also fits in well with his work of being a children’s author and illustrator and he has had several books published including a fantasy adventure trilogy, The Kingdom of Gems, and an adventure called Gordo.
He added: “I can still write when I am at tournaments and can often be seen in a cafe or the tennis clubhouse typing away.
“It is a job I am passionate about and often visit schools to speak to the children about it.”
Jasper Cooper with his trophy, chairman of senior tennis GB Keith Bland and beaten finalist Godfrey Evans