Photo: Ray GiubiloHeide Orth en route to the ladies 70's title in Umag in 2012
Heide Orth is to be recognised for Outstanding Achievement in Seniors Tennis at the 2014 ITF World Champions Dinner in Paris on 3 June 2014.
Orth, who turns 71 on 10 August, will be honoured for her achievements in ITF Seniors and Super-Seniors World Team and Individual Championship events. She will become the second player to pick up the award after Lorne Main, the most successful player in the 55-year history of the Seniors circuit, was presented with the inaugural award during 2012 Roland Garros.
Orth, who hails from Germany, won her first singles World Individual Championship title in Melbourne in 1985 after defeating countrywoman Kerstin Seelbach in the final. It was a monumental moment for Orth, not just because she had lost several singles finals previously, but because her victory came exactly 20 years after representing her nation in a Federation Cup (Fed Cup) tie at the Kooyong Club.
Orth played 11 Fed Cup ties for Germany overall, helping her side to six tie triumphs in the competition and compiling a 2-2 win-loss record in singles and an 8-3 record in doubles. She also featured at each of the four Grand Slams, reaching the third round in singles at Wimbledon in 1968 and at Roland Garros in 1972 and 1974, and quarterfinals in doubles at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon. On the women's tour, she achieved outstanding wins against at-the-time reigning Wimbledon champions Virginia Wade and Evonne Goolagong.
That first title in 1985 in the ladies 40’s category opened the floodgates for Orth in Seniors tennis and she went on to win 10 World Individual Championship titles in singles across various different age categories (her most recent triumph coming in the ladies 70’s category in Umag in 2012) and nine in doubles*.
Orth has also enjoyed great success for Germany at the ITF Seniors and Super-Seniors World Team Championship events, winning 10 titles in the Young Cup, Maureen Connolly Cup, Maria Esther Bueno Cup, Alice Marble Cup and the Kitty Godfree Cup.
Her triumphs make her the most successful female player in the history of ITF Seniors Tennis and a fitting recipient of the second award for Outstanding Achievement in Seniors Tennis.
*Since this article was published, Heide Orth won the Women's 70 at the 2013 Super-Seniors World Individual Championships in Pörtschach, increasing the number of doubles titles won to 10.