European Lifetime Senior Champions
of Europe’s most distinguished senior tennis players were honoured with
the first European Lifetime Senior Champion awards at a special
ceremony held during the 2008 Roland Garros championships.
The accolade recognises both longevity and achievements, and will be
presented to an elite band of players who win at least five World
Championship and ten European Championship singles titles during their
Senior Circuit careers. Presenting the awards alongside Tennis Europe
President Jacques Dupré, Senior Committee Chairman Philios
Christodoulou said, "On behalf of Tennis Europe, I would like to
express our sincere congratulations to the four champions selected to
receive this unique and important recognition. Their names will be
written down in history alongside all the other top athletes of the
Heide Orth was born into a sporting family in Essen,
Germany in 1942 and began to play tennis with her father at the age of
13. By 1960 she had become German junior champion, the first steps on a
road to a career that would see her compete on the ladies circuit for
many years, in which she was a regular participant in all four Grand
Slams, the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Faithful to her home country, Heide played on the national Fed Cup team
on fifteen occasions, and has also been a reliable club representative,
playing for ETUF Essen, Blau-Weiss Berlin and Skiclub throughout the
years. After marrying in 1965 and giving birth to her first son in
1970, Heide took a five year break from tennis before entering the
senior circuit, in which she has become a consistently successful
force, having accrued 11 Tennis Europe Player of the Year titles. Mrs.
Orth was delighted to be amongst the winners, remarking, "I am not used
to receiving such awards and attending these ceremonies, but this is a
really great recognition for senior tennis."
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