GOING STRONG: Diane Geake, 78, loves a hit of tennis and hopes she still going strong for years to come.
GOING STRONG: Diane Geake, 78, loves a hit of tennis and hopes she still going strong for years to come. Troy Jegers

78-year-old Gympie tennis player still swinging

Tennis: She's two years away from her 80th birthday but Diane Geake has no plans to hang up her racquet.

The 78-year-old might not play the same as she did in her prime but she will play as long as she can.

"I had a knee replacement a few years ago and broke my thumb but I keep trying," she said. "I've also lost a bit of speed but I would love to still be playing when I'm 80 and hopefully longer."

A fierce backhand was her signature shot on the court.

"I was a natural. Very fast, good anticipation and nothing ever stopped me," Geake said.

"Backhand was always my best stroke."

 

Diane Geake 78
Diane Geake, 78, loves a hit of tennis and hopes she still going strong for years to come. Troy Jegers

The highlight of her playing career remains the consecutive singles tournaments she won in Melbourne.

"I won them five years running when I was 35," she said.

"At the same time I won doubles and mixed doubles championships."

Despite her height, she is quick to cover the court.

"I was always very fast and quick on the feet," Geake said.

"It never mattered how tall I was and I could jump high. I was a fast runner, so it just came naturally."

It is not just the love of the sport that has kept Geake on the court.

"It's the companionship and the competition. Also the teammates. You become very close friends."