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Bristol woman is a senior tennis ace

By John Koziol
Union Leader Correspondent

August 29. 2017 11:22PM
Fresh off a three-month tour of Europe, during which she competed in seven ITF Seniors tournaments and won three, Veronica Lima-De Angelis puts in some practice time Aug, 28 at her home court in Bristol. (John Koziol/Union Leader Correspondent)

This summer, Veronica Lima-De Angelis won three singles titles while competing in Europe on the ITF's Seniors tour, receiving this handsome cup for her victory in the 20th Memorial Paolo Fusi tournament which was held in Rapallo, Italy from July 8-15. (John Koziol/Union Leader Correspondent)

BRISTOL — At an age when many people are pursuing less strenuous activities, Veronica Lima-De Angelis is hitting her stride as a professional tennis player.

Lima-De Angelis, 59, director of tennis and men’s varsity coach at the New Hampton School, recently returned from playing seven International Tennis Federation (ITF) women’s senior tournaments in Europe

In her debut season in the ITF’s women’s 60-65 group — she turns 60 this year — Lima-De Angelis won singles titles this summer in Rapallo and Trieste, Italy, and in Igls, Austria. She was also a runner-up at Poertschach, Austria.

After each spring semester at New Hampton School, Lima-De Angelis travels to Europe and enrolls in a tennis academy for several weeks before competing on the ITF tour. After three months of play, she returns to the private boarding school in time for the start of the fall semester, bringing back her accumulated wisdom and sharing it with her young charges.

One piece of wisdom Lima-De Angelis imparts is what she calls “the three C’s”: control, concentration and consistency.

In Europe, where clay courts predominate, players have to employ the “three C’s” to structure points on the slower surface, whereas the American game on hard courts is grounded in power, mostly from the baseline.

Europeans dominate both the men’s Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and women’s WTA tours, with no American men in the Top 10 and only two, John Isner and Jack Sock, in the Top 20.

American women fare slightly better, with Venus Williams being the No. 9 ranked player in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and being joined in the Top 20 by her sister, Serena, at No. 15, and Madison Keys at No. 16.

More mature American women are doing better still, with Carolyn Nichols currently ranked No. 1 in the ITF’s V60 group; Susan Wright at No. 14; Tina Karawsky at No. 21; and with Lima-De Angelis not far behind at No. 29 out of 399 ranked players.

Unlike most of the senior American women, who hail from California and points south and west of New Hampshire, Lima-De Angelis is the lone ITF Seniors representative from the Granite State and New England.

On the ITF Seniors Tour since 2002, when she won the first tournament she entered in Santiago, Chile, Lima-De Angelis has been ranked as high as No. 7 — at the end of the 2004 season.

She is 188-101 in her singles career, and so far this year has a 14-4 singles record. which she is looking to improve upon at an ITF event in November.

Another one of her passions is cooking, and Lima-De Angelis is widely recognized by those who know her best as a world-class chef. She hopes to one day combine her passions for cooking and tennis in a book.

Lima-De Angelis speaks English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, and delights in immersing herself in the many cultures and cuisines she is exposed to as a tennis professional.

She plans on playing for “as long as I’m healthy, my husband and family are healthy, and the world stays safe.”

A player since she was 4 years old, tennis now is about enjoying the totality of the experience, said Lima-De Angelis.

“For me, the most important thing is not the trophies, but the challenge of going overseas” and competing against top players. Being abroad, Lima-De Angelis said, “is quite interesting and it really opens up your life.”


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