Gunnedah Tennis Club is hosting its Centenary Ball and has scored a big tennis name as a special guest.

Gunnedah District Tennis Association has reached 100 years since its formation and will be celebrating with a ball on April 1 in Gunnedah.

Headlining the event will be tennis champion, John Fitzgerald.

Known for his professional tennis career and later as a broadcast commentator, Fitzgerald was nicknamed as the ‘Cockaleechie Kid’ after the town of his youth.

His passion for the game took off at the age of 12 after watching the Davis Cup at the age of 12 which caused him to be hitting a tennis ball at every free moment. But the tennis legend only realised a professional career was possible when he turned 18.

His career kicked off when he had the opportunity to travel Europe playing through Tennis SA. 

Highlights of his playing career included winning his first doubles grand slam at the Australian Open and named in the winning Australian Davis Cup team.

He retired as a professional tennis player in 1995 before moving into a broadcast commentary and motivational speaking career.

Centenary ball co-ordinator and Gunnedah tennis coach Dale Martin said it was a great privilege to host Fitzgerald as a guest speaker for the evening.

“It’s a huge boost for the tennis community – he’s been a multi-grand slam doubles winner, a member for two Davis Cup sides and was ranked number one in the world in doubles,” Martin said.

Dinner guests can expect a short interview with the grand slam champ, as well as a question-and-answer session.

Martin said ticket sales have been “pretty solid” in the lead-up the event but organisers are also welcoming others in the North West tennis community and anyone interested in this great showcase of sport, to book a ticket as well.

Tennis has had a strong influence on Gunnedah with several courts in town and has historically been a popular sport among locals. 

The black tie event will be held at the Gunnedah Rugby Club and will feature live entertainment as well as a sit down dinner.

Tickets are still available until this Saturday. Tickets available online via: 

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