Janet Balbutin, a former resident of the area, has reached the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Super Senior 60 League national championships in April in Arizona.

Janet Balbutin, a former resident of the area, has reached the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Super Senior 60 League national championships in April in Arizona.


Balbutin lived briefly in Gridley and lived in the outskirts of Live Oak for about 30 years, and gave tennis lessons in the area.


“Tennis is a great sport,” Balbutin said. “It has everything for you - you have camraderie, you have travel, you meet people internationally, and it’s all with good manner.”


Balbutin, a full-time pharmacist, played for the Ashton Park team out of Sacramento. The team recently won the section championships in Carmel, CA.


“We could not believe it,” Balbutin said. “You’re just numb because you can’t believe that you’ve beaten all those teams.”


The over 60 league is still very competitive. She estimated about half are former professionals.


“But God has a way of making things equal when we get older, it’s sort of funny,” Balbutin said. “Some of us who haven’t played as much as the pros, our knees are still good and our legs are still good and we can still run because we haven’t driven them into the cement.”


For the same reason, Balbutin thinks they have a chance to win the national championship.


“We’re equal,” she said. “It’ll depend on the day, how everybody feels. We have a great chance.”