Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C

Search
Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Hassell preparing for her 60th Framlingham Tennis Tournament

PUBLISHED: 10:51 01 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:00 01 August 2018

Joan Hassell, left, with Yvonne Durham (nee Grimwade) after Joan won the Suffolk Ladies Singles at Framlingham in 1967. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Joan Hassell, left, with Yvonne Durham (nee Grimwade) after Joan won the Suffolk Ladies Singles at Framlingham in 1967. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

Suffolk tennis legend Joan Hassell is preparing for her 60th Framlingham tournament. Oh, and she also happens to be a world champion. Terry Hunt talked to her ahead of the 2018 event, which runs next week

Jez Cowley in action at  the Framlingham Tennis Tournament in 2017.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJez Cowley in action at the Framlingham Tennis Tournament in 2017. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Do you know Suffolk has a tennis world champion? I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I didn’t - until I met the remarkable Joan Hassell.

I chatted to 77-year-old Joan about her 60th appearance at the Framlingham Tennis Tournament, which takes place next week.

That is extraordinary enough, but when Joan casually mentioned in conversation that she had also held a world title, I had to find out just a little more about that!

It happened three years ago, when Joan was 75, and she and her partner won their age group ladies doubles in the Super-Seniors World Team Championships in Croatia.

Framlingham Tennis Tournament is one of the oldest in the country. Picture: GREGG BROWNFramlingham Tennis Tournament is one of the oldest in the country. Picture: GREGG BROWN

It is an achievement which Joan singles out as the highlight of her long and highly successful tennis career. Her first trophy came at the Felixstowe tournament, when she won the under-15 title.

But let’s focus on the Framlingham Tennis Tournament, where it’s no exaggeration to describe Joan as a legend. This will be her 60th appearance at what is Britain’s second longest established tennis event, after a low-profile tournament called Wimbledon.

In six decades of competing at Framlingham, she has won the Suffolk Singles ladies’ title no fewer than eight times, the ladies’ doubles eight times, and the open event twice. A formidable record!

Even in her late 70s, she’s still winning trophies at Framlingham, capturing the over-40s mixed doubles last year with her son-in-law, Nicky Giles.

Katie Tassell in action at Framlingham last year. Picture: NIGE BROWNKatie Tassell in action at Framlingham last year. Picture: NIGE BROWN

So what makes Framlingham so special? “There are lots of reasons,” says Joan, who lives near Ipswich, “It’s very friendly, and attracts people from all walks of life from all over the county and beyond.

“People come along and they all get on. It is as much a social event as a tennis tournament! Then there’s the beautiful setting (the tournament takes place at Framlingham College) and the facilities improve every year.”

Joan’s three grandchildren go to the tournament, and a quote from one of them summed up how they feel about the tournament: “I don’t want Framlingham to ever end.”

Cole Skuse agrees that his team mate and good friend Luke Chambers has probably taken on too much responsibility as Ipswich Town captain.

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell has ruled out Paul Hurst returning to the club following his recent sacking by Ipswich Town.

More than 500 tickets have been donated for Ipswich Town’s home game against West Brom next Friday evening after one small act of kindness gained online momentum.

Toto Nsiala may currently find himself on the fringes of the Ipswich Town first-team but the central defender continues to make an impact off the field each and every week.

We’ve ranked the home kits of all 24 Championship teams. So who comes out on top?

Andre Dozzell has revealed his frustration as his return to action stalled earlier in the season but the teenager is now hungry for minutes on the field after returning to the first-team picture.

In past columns I have talked about a divide between athletes that earn large amounts of money, and those that do not, and how there is a movement in Ipswich to bring this sporting diversity together.

ANDY WARREN spoke to Ipswich Town No.2 Stuart Taylor about his journey from cleaning Paul Lambert’s boots at St Mirren to assisting him at Portman Road.

Striker Kayden Jackson scored a hat-trick as Ipswich Town defeated QPR 5-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Playford Road this afternoon.

Trevoh Chalobah has been training with the full England squad today ahead of the Three Lions’ clash with the United States tomorrow night.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24