Record-winning ITF Masters player reflects on illustrious performances

Record-winning ITF Masters player reflects on illustrious performances

A top pro on the senior tour, Carolyn Nichols is a true testament that tennis is a lifetime sport -- having won 82 ITF Masters Tour Singles Titles and counting!

Although she did pick up the game more seriously in high school, she did say that she “wasn’t particularly great” and that she “didn’t hit that hard” back when she started playing tennis. But as a student at Stanford and prior to college also, she would watch her father play senior tournaments and realized that she wanted to do the same.

Her dad, who inspired her to pick up tennis, built a tennis court on the family farm that Carolyn grew up on; to build it from scratch, he had poured concrete on the property and repurposed a used fence as a means of enclosing the court. “A court’s a court,” says Carolyn about her father’s genius engineering, which he first learned as a child growing up on a pasture.

By the time she was 40 years old, Carolyn committed to playing in a series of tournaments in Europe, the first of many. “The older I get, the better it is on the body,” says Carolyn, who’s used her V-Cell 4 racquet and has played with Volkl en route to winning five world tennis championships (one in singles and four in doubles).

In addition to playing in USTA national and ITF international events throughout the year, the 66-year-old writes about her experiences on her reputable blog called “Senior Tennis Blog”, in which she chronicles her personal travels plus provides match results from around the Senior Circuit; there’s also the USTA National senior schedule on the site for players to reference and follow results plus upcoming matches. “I’ve met so many people and during the pandemic, in fact tennis saved me,” says Carolyn, who splits her time between San Diego, California and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

“Those practice sessions and just the socialization of seeing someone was so crucial I think and that’s why people turned to tennis; I am obviously a tennis nerd, but I love it," she says. When discussing her goals, one of them is of course to add even more gold balls to her growing collection of 30 plus already.

But ultimately what she wants more than anything is the chance to continue improving her game, which she attributes to Volkl. “Tennis has sent me all over the world, and it’s been a fantastic ride on the court,” says Carolyn, a Volkl player since 2003 who says the tennis company has something for everyone.