Name: Cynthia Doerner
Home State: Victoria
Playing Period: 1971 – 1980
BTT: What is your favorite memory from your playing days?
CD: Well, probably playing at Wimbledon, which was the Holy Grail. Especially the first time, it was kind of surreal, because I had dreamt about it since I was a kid.
BTT: Who did you travel around the tour with?
CD: I travelled on tour with various people, rooming together etc. Wendy Turnbull, Lesley Hunt, Sharon Walsh, Raquel Gisgafre, Ruta Gerulaitis, Lele Foroo…to name a few. It depended on the week, and who you were playing doubles with etc. We are all terrific friends, even today.
BTT: Have you ben part of any IC events?
CD: As a player no, due to injury. But I have been to a lot of the IC social events, which we all thoroughly enjoy.
BTT: Did you have plans to be a tennis coach while you were still playing?
CD: The last thing I would have thought I would be doing when I came off the tour was to coach. But it was a necessity to earn a living.
BTT: What was the transition from professional player to regular life like for you?
CD: At first, it was tough. I loved the lifestyle, competing and being with my friends. I thought it was a real come down to have to coach. But you do what you have to do!
BTT: Did you experience any regrets about retiring too soon after you had hung up your racquets?
CD: Yes and No. I had knee issues, so it was stopping and starting up again. I was almost 30, which is not old, I thought I was at the peak physically, but my knees kept breaking down. So a bit of a disappointing end. Financially it was tough too, hardly any money around and it was a break-even situation.
BTT: What’s your advice for players who are currently preparing to retire?
CD: Preparing is the optimal word. If you haven’t made a lot of money (which is probable) and this sounds a bit lame, perhaps go back to school find some subjects you like, or get a job anywhere and ease yourself into life, discover new frontiers—kind of like a “Gap” year after high school and college.
BTT: These days, how are you still involved in tennis?
CD: I’m still involved in tennis, coaching, part-time 10-12 hours a week. I am trying to keep it fresh and creative. I started a 3-Year-Old Introduction to Tennis class this year; it has been a big success!!
BTT: Will we see you back in Australia someday?
CD: Probably not to live, but I never say never. I do come back every year for the Australian Open….love catching up with all my friends.
Great to catch up with you Cynthia, we hope you are enjoying life in Fresno, California!