Chichester ace Ornstein celebrates GB tennis call-up

Chris Ornstein will play for the GB over-65 team in Turkey in October
Chris Ornstein will play for the GB over-65 team in Turkey in October

For the first time, and at the age of 67, Chris Ornstien, has been selected to represent GB in the men’s 65-plus division in the super seniors’ world team tennis championships in Turkey in October.

In the 2014 grade-one seniors’ British open clay court championships at the West Hants Club, Bournemouth, the Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club member lost to No2 seed and eventual tournament winner in the quarter- final of the singles event.

He then went on to win the 65-plus men’s doubles with Mike Hepker from Bath.

Ornstein has won many Sussex and international veterans’ tournaments and is ranked No74 in the world for 65-plus players. He is Gb No2 and Sussex No1. He also is the captain and manager of the Sussex men’s 60-plus and 65-plus inter-county teams and captain of the Chichester club’s veterans’ men’s first team. 

Ever since he returned to England in 2001 after 43 years in Australia, it has been his goal to be selected for the seniors’ GB tennis team and to represent GB at the World Seniors’ Tennis Championships. In 2002 he reached the Final of the National Clay Court 55+ Singles, but, on this occasion, was not selected for the GB team.

Undeterred, he has persevered with his training and intense practice sessions over the past 13 years and in 2012 he won the seniors’ national grass court championships in the men’s 65-plus section.

During the past 13 years, he has reached the quarter-final stages of national seniors’ events on several occasions and has won more than ten singles and 15 doubles senior ITF tournaments at levels just below the nationals.

These included successes at the prestigious South of England championships played at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne each September.

Chichester R&FC manager Jack Lerwill said: “This is a fantastic achievement by Chris. He has shown great determination to realise his goal and I know everybody at the club is thrilled for him.

“We wish him all the best in the super seniors world team championships.”