Chilean is first transsexual on women’s tennis circuit in 30 years

May 7th, 2009 - 4:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Buenos Aires, May 7 (DPA) Chilean Andrea Paredes von Roth has become the first transsexual to compete in professional women’s tennis since American Renee Richards who played in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The 37-year-old, who was born as Ernesto Paredes, recently made her debut at a low-level tournament in Buenos Aires where she failed to win a single game against a British qualifier, Nicola Slater. She remains upbeat despite the defeat.

“This is already a dream come true for me,” she said before going on to lose 0-6, 0-6.

Paredes was given the go-ahead by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in November 2008 after she submitted documentation detailing her hormone treatment and a sex-change operation carried out in 2000.

It remains to be seen whether the Chilean can match the sporting prowess of her predecessor Renee Richards. The trained US doctor won a tournament and was rated 22nd in the world in 1977 at the age of 43.

Paredes, a financial expert, says she intends to fight to improve her performance on the courts: “I may be 37 on paper but biologically-speaking I’m just 27.”

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