GLEN Phelp and Mark Bailey at Terranora have been making waves in their respective tennis spheres.
GLEN Phelp and Mark Bailey at Terranora have been making waves in their respective tennis spheres.

Banker a court ace

By TANIA PHILLIPS

sports@tweed- news.com.au

BY day he is a mild mannered loans officer for Suncorp but by night, weekends and holiday's Glen Philp is a world standard veterans tennis player.

Philp is one of two Terranora tennis players currently making a big impression with 14 year-old Mark Bailey also excelling making the Combined Catholic Colleges NSW Schoolboys team and just missing the NSW All Schools title.

Philp has just returned from representing Australia in the World Veterans Tennis titles in Perth with a silver and bronze medal in the 35-40 age group and hopefully a big lift in his world ranking, which was already at 25 in the world before the titles. The Australian team finished fifth overall.

In the individual events, after the teams tournament, Philp earned the bronze in the singles losing his semifinal to former English Davis Cup player Chris Wilkinson (the eventual winner). Along the way he had accounted for No3 seed Hubert Karresh of Canada and top seed and world number one American Hunter Gallaway.

He then teamed with Englishman Daniel Ahl to make the doubles final.

It was his second world title competition after playing with the Australian team which finished 13th in Turkey last year.

But while it may seem unusual that a guy that works in an airconditioned bank all day could be a tennis hotshot - it is not all that surprising if you know Philp.

Back in 1988, as an 18-year-old, he had a successful stint at the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch in Texas which included winning in tournaments in Pasadena, a second in Austin and a third in the State championships in Houston. Philp then embarked on a five-year scholarship at Carolina State University.

He returned to Australia had a year as a pro-tennis player - with beating Scott Draper as his claim to fame - before deciding to retire.

"I thought I had better settle down and get a real job," he said.

The big (and often asked) question is with all this tennis experience why doesn't he coach? The answer is simple, "I love my day job".

But while he isn't coaching he is still a great example for the Terranora Tennis club's younger players including Bailey.

At just 14 Bailey, a St Josephs College Year Nine student, was the youngest person to make the Catholic Colleges team.

But while he loves tennis he isn't necessarily looking to become a professional player.

"I'd like to be a professional sportsman but I don't know what sport yet," he said. His other passions include cycling, triathlon and soccer.



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