Wright to be honored at Tennis Hall of Fame

A local player and local club will be honored Saturday night at the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Gala in Denver.

Susan Wright will receive the Joan Birkland award for female player of the year and the Grand Junction Tennis Club is receiving the E.L. Griffey award for facility of the year.

In addition to Wright and the GJTC, the Colorado Tennis Association will induct five people into its Hall of Fame at the ninth annual event.

Wright won 11 national titles, was runner-up twice and finished the 2008 season ranked No. 1 in the world in the women’s 50-older division. She won the ‘Grand Slam’ in doubles and won three of the four major tournaments in singles. Wright won the age 45-older National Grass Championships in singles and doubles as well.

“It was an amazing year,” she said. “The year before I won 14 balls, but lots of silver. I thought that was a fabulous year. To win all those gold balls, it’s a good year.”

For the second consecutive year, Wright helped the U.S. women’s 50-older tennis team win the Maria Bueno Cup title in Antalya, Turkey.

USA defeated Australia 2-1 with wins in singles by Wright and Diane Fishburne. Wright defeated the No. 4-ranked women’s 50-older player in the world, Lynn Mortimer, 6-1, 6-2 and Diane Fishburne defeated world champion Ros Balodis 6-1, 6-7, 6-1 in the other singles match. Australia scored its point with a win in the doubles match.

The E.L. Griffey award is the perfect prize for celebrating the Grand Junction Tennis Club’s 50th anniversary.

“We are proud the club is being recognized as the outstanding club in the state,” GJTC co-founder Lena Elliott said. “We congratulate all our members and volunteers for lending a hand and helping financially.”

The Grand Junction Tennis Club has been running for 50 years, Elliott said, with volunteers.

The unique thing about the club is it doesn’t have a physical location.

“Our club is active in keeping tennis alive,” Elliott said. “It’s because of the people here with a passion for the game.”

There are approximately 300 players and volunteers in the club.


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