LIMA — There’s one name synonymous with Lima area tennis: Mary Lou Roush.
Roush has been playing in area tennis tournaments for four decades.
The 64-year-old Roush is back again this summer, playing in this week’s Lima City Mixed Doubles Tennis Tournament at the Collett Street Courts.
This year, the Lima Area Tennis Association split the City Mixed Doubles Tournament into two age brackets — the under-50 and 50-and-over brackets.
In Wednesday’s first round for the 50-and-over age group, Roush and her partner Brad Kelley took to the court.
Roush and Kelley, the No. 1 seed, had a bye in the first round. Later on Wednesday, they played Kevin Paige and JoAnn Barton in a second-round match. Roush and Kelley had little trouble, as they defeated Paige and Barton 6-1, 6-2.
“This would be the 40th year,” Roush said. “I started in ‘73 and I started with Bob Leonard. He and I probably played together for at least 34 years. We also won in Findlay because back then, Findlay people would come to our tournament (in Lima) and vise-versa.
“What’s fun about it is that every year more and more youngsters come. …And I say youngsters because I’m giving them like 50 years — the people that I play. The parents support them and it’s like a big family here.”
Kelley, an attorney, has known Roush for a long time. However, Kelley has never teamed up with Roush on the tennis court.
“My partner and I — it’s our first year together,” Roush said. “Brad and I have a good rapport. Brad has good spirit and I have good spirit and that’s why we were successful tonight.”
Kelley jumped at the opportunity to play mixed doubles with Roush.
“Hey, when Babe Ruth asks you to hang out, you’re not going to say no,” Kelley said. “I’ve played against Mary Lou in the past. She called me and asked me if I wanted to play and I was happy to do so.”
On Wednesday, the under-50 age bracket finals were determined. It will be a pair of brother-sister combinations and a Lima Central Catholic connection in today’s championship match.
John and Elizabeth Kidd defeated Terry Hilborn and Emily Sprague 6-3, 6-2 in one semifinal. In Wednesday’s other semifinal, Alex and Ashley Swick ousted Roy Gillespie and Chelsea Myer 6-4, 6-2 to advance.