Texan Julie Levy became the first female tournament winner in Leamington Tennis Court Club’s 168-year history when she lifted their handicap championship recently.
The Bedford Street-based club only admitted women members in 2008.
Security consultant Levy, whose husband James is also a member, won two of her three group matches, taking the notable scalp of two-time winner Will Todd along the way.
She then eased past John Singleton and Freddie Dixon in the knockout stages before squeezing past former winner Paul Brennan in a dramatic semi-final.
Facing match point, Levy held her nerve to bring it back to 5-5 and then produced a fine lob to the dedans to claim victory with the match locked together at 40-all.
The other semi-final saw Martin Trees, a victor over Levy in the group stages, despatched by club chairman Guy Stanton.
However, despite recapturing some of his best form, Stanton struggled to claw back his severe handicap in the final, with Levy going on to claim the Dunnett Jug with a 6-1 win.
And the significance of the victory was not lost on the American.
“It is an honour to be the first female winner at one of the most historic sports clubs in the world,” said Levy.
“It is hard to put into words my love for this unique club.
“I have watched as others have won tournaments since I became a member in 2009; I had my chance in the final against the club chairman Guy Stanton and didn’t want to blow it.”
If you would like to learn more about real tennis, call 424977 or email firstname.lastname@example.org