Taylor Townsend Had To Play A 69-Year-Old Grandmother Today At An ITF Event! [Video]
by Staff | April 11th, 2016, 6:39 pm
  • 7 Comments

In one of the most bizarre matchups in women’s tennis history, 18-year-old Taylor Townsend had to play a 69-year-old grandmother in the second round of qualifying at a $25K ITF event in Pelham, Alabama earlier today.

Townsend, ranked No. 389, not surprisingly won the match 6-0, 6-0 in just 36 minutes losing 12 points over the granny named Gail Falkenberg.

But the story is, this was the SECOND ROUND. So how did a 69-year-old woman even get into the qualifying tournament and then how the hell did she BEAT someone?

In her first match, Falkenberg, a former collegiate coach and top regional player, defeated 22-year-old Rosalyn Small 6-0, 6-1! That’s right, she lost just ONE game to someone 47 years her younger. And did so serving underhand:

But again, this is qualifying and unranked players like Falkenberg and Small were accepted to fill out the draw and avoid more byes. And then they drew each other.

And how bad is Small? In 27 career ITF tournaments, she’s never won a match and won a total of 10 games. Yes, 10 games in 27 matches (that’s a lot of bagel!). And those matches were not even main draw. They were all in qualifying!

As for Falkenberg, who toiled in these WTA minor events in the late 90s, her win over Small ended a 32-match losing streak in recent years. That’s right, grandma has tried to qualify at a number of ITF events across the South the last four years or so.

However, Falkenberg did manage to get 12(!!!) points off Townsend, a player who has wins over Alize Cornet, Julia Goerges and has pushed former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki to tiebreakers. Not bad.

And remember Alexandra Stevenson? Would you believe the former Wimbledon semifinalist is also playing in the Pelham qualifying? Of course.

What a crazy sport tennis is.


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7 Comments for Taylor Townsend Had To Play A 69-Year-Old Grandmother Today At An ITF Event! [Video]

RZ Says:

Go grandma!

I looked both Falkenberg and Small up on the USTA’s Tennislink site. I couldn’t find a rating for Falkenberg, but found that Small is rated 3.5 (same rating as me). So in other words, I could have entered this challenger and lost to Falkenberg 6-0 6-0. :-)


Vami Says:

Andy’s tweet from 2014:
How good is Taylor Townsend! #talent

The “talent” missed quite a few first serves. I’m no tennis expert but I guess when you play such a strong returner as grandma Gail you have to focus on hitting the lines as powerfully as possible?


RZ Says:

@Vami – keep in mind that in such an easy match, Taylor might have been working on things like going for that first serve or trying a new type of serve, as a missed point here or there wasn’t going to affect the match.


MMT Says:

“So in other words, I could have entered this challenger and lost to Falkenberg 6-0 6-0. :-)”

No to put too fine a point on it, but so could a dead man.


RZ Says:

@MMT – the dead man would have lost via 2 golden sets. I would hope I could win at least a point or two!


RZ Says:

Actually, the dead man would have lost via default as he would never have shown up.


Green Lady Says:

MMT/RZ LOL ;-)) ….

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