Rhys McDougall is hunting for the over-35 tennis world title in New Zealand this month.
Rhys McDougall is hunting for the over-35 tennis world title in New Zealand this month. Blainey Woodham

Veteran ace takes on world

RHYS McDougall has turned back the clock on his training regime in an effort to serve up a world championship-winning tennis performance.

The Casuarina-based tennis coach will represent Australia at the ITP Seniors World Championships later this month, and has set his sights on the over-35 years individual title.

It is the second time the 37-year-old will represent Australia at the event.

And after testing the waters last year, the world number eight will return fully prepared to become world champion.

“I will be seeded this year and feel like I have got a pretty good chance to win the tournament,” he said.

McDougall isn't taking anything for granted. The world number eight has put the hours in on the training paddock and admitted he hadn't worked himself this hard for years.

New Zealander Steven Downs and fellow Australian Troy Hargreaves will be among his biggest rivals for the crown.

McDougall knows what to expect from the tournament, after his effort last year at Mexico, and believes the experience will serve him well in New Zealand.

“This year I know what I am up against, which will hopefully put me in good stead.”

Mexico was the first time McDougall had represented Australia and he went on to play for his country in the Oceania Championships at Noumea where the over-35 years team lost to New Zealand in the final, playing in an open age group.

McDougall said the honour of representing Australia was really starting to sink in.

“This is the third time, the first time it didn't sink in as much, but since the last time I played, I am feeling a lot prouder about being there,” he said.

“To put that green and gold tracksuit on is a special feeling.

“It is always good to represent your country at the highest level.”

The tournament includes individual and team events and he will compete in both.

McDougall has run his own tennis coaching business, Play Tennis, at the Casuarina Recreation Club for eight years.

He played professionally overseas when he was younger for French and English clubs on the money circuits.Visit McDougall's website at www.playtennis.com.au or call 0401873440.



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