Aces are real pros

On court: Members of the I.A.F.T at Marconi Tennis and Squash. Middle | The originals - Mick Labbozzetta, Mick Carbone, Joseph Buda, Vic Brescia, Angelo Lo Proto and John Orlando.
On court: Members of the I.A.F.T at Marconi Tennis and Squash. Middle | The originals - Mick Labbozzetta, Mick Carbone, Joseph Buda, Vic Brescia, Angelo Lo Proto and John Orlando.

You know about the ATP and WTA, but there is one tennis tour that has being going just as long - the I.A.F.T: Italians Australians For Tennis.

The group, which started in Toongabbie in 1976, gather every Monday night at Marconi Tennis and Squash to play tennis and have a bit of fun. Each week- except public holidays and the December/January period - a group of 18 players primarily over 40 dust off their racquets and have a hit.

The round robin format is based on the previous years standings with players teaming up for doubles matches across three grades.

Previously there were singles matches when the group played at St Johns Park and have had up to 24 players in action.

But time wins most sporting contests. These days sets are played to four but the smiles are just as big with tennis a way for the men to escape their problems.

Edensor Park resident Mick Labbozzetta is one of three original players still playing alongside Giulio Blasonato and Tony Stabile. Other founding members were:Joseph Buda, Mick Carbone, Angelo Lo Proto and John Orlando. Rocco Orlando has been the scorekeeper for the past 20 years.

Mick, 72, said while old age is catching up with the group, they still love playing the game. "Every year I say it is my last year, but while I can I will keep playing," he said.Three years ago we celebrated our 40 year reunion. Next year is our 44th year."