The recent Vero Beach International women’s professional tennis tournament at Grand Harbor featured an actual tournament participant who was….76 years old.
Gail Falkenberg, who was born in 1947, signed in and was able to gain entry into the tournament’s qualifying rounds. She lost in her first round match 6-0, 6-0 in 37 minutes to former N.C. State college star Alana Smith, who is 63 years her junior.
Falkenburg grew up in New Jersey and attended UCLA where she played tennis, volleyball and basketball. A former women’s tennis coach at the Univ. of Central Florida, Falkenburg achieved a career high WTA ranking of No. 360 in 1987! She continues to played in USTA senior and ITF tennis events to showcase her competitive spirit at any stage in tennis that she can. In the main draw of the event at Grand Harbor, Marie Benoit of Belgium, ranked No. 300 on the WTA computer, won the singles title.