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90-year-old says tennis keeps her young

November 24, 2010 3:35:45 PM PST
Every Monday and Wednesday morning, ''Tiger'' takes to the tennis court at the Oak Lawn Racquet Club.

Mary Jane "Tiger" Murphy, 90, still plays with the same spirit she started with 80 years ago.

"When we went out to play we didn't have lessons like the kids do now. But, I probably do everything wrong," said Murphy.

But she really does everything just about right. Murphy has a good serve that's almost always on target. And her 90-year-old legs still get her where she has to get on that court. Mary Casserly has been playing with Murphy for 40 years.

"We call her the Energizer Bunny. She has a lot of great drop shots. A lot of great lobs," said Casserly.

"Tough, tenacious. She just never gives up. She'll run into the net. Through the net," said Elaine Tryjefaczka, tennis friend.

"She's very challenging," said Glenda Capuano, tennis partner. "That's why we call her Tiger."

Tennis and a healthy diet, she says, are a big part of her good health. That-- and Murphy never sits still.

"Just keep moving. Keep doing something. On the days that I don't play tennis or golf or something. I go out and rake the leaves or cut the grass," said Murphy.

Tiger got her start in tennis when she was just a cub in 1930 at Avalon Park on Chicago's South Side. In those days, little girls weren't supposed to be such active athletes.

"I think I was a tomboy. I used to play football out in the street with my brothers and the boy next door," said Murphy.

How long does Murphy intend to keep it up?

"Well maybe another eighty," said Murphy.


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