Tennis still running in the blood for Jenny’s family

Jenny Waggott
Jenny Waggott

Warwick Boat Club coach Jenny Waggott has secured her family’s tennis dynasty with the news that granddaughters Nicole and Myah Petchey have won tennis scholarships to an American University.

Michelle Waggott, Jenny’s eldest daughter, married Mark Petchey, the former Great Britain Davis Cup player and now Sky Sports presenter after meeting at a mother and daughter tournament in Spain.

Jenny and Michelle, no mean tennis player herself, lost in the final to Mrs Petchey and her daughter and so impressed was Mark that he declared he would marry Michelle the second time they met.

Nicole, 20, and Myah, 17, are the result, with both going on to become international tennis federation players in their own right, earning them places at the SMU College in Dallas.

Born in Rhodesia in 1943, Waggott, nee Morris, won her first tournament, the national junior titles in both singles and doubles, when she was 15.

At 21 she played in the mixed doubles championship at the All England Club, left her job and decided on tennis as a career.

She and younger sister Fiona joined the senior tour and in 1965 Jenny went back to Wimbledon, again in the mixed doubles.

In the same year her greatest achievement came when she took three games off Wimbledon champion and world number one Maria Bueno at the US Open.

After Rhodesia gained independence, Jenny married Ian Waggott, a member of the British South Africa Police (CID and Special Branch) and had two daughters Michelle and Trudi.

In 1968, the family fled Zimbabwe following Mugabe reforms and settled in Stratford, later moving to Harbury, with Jenny joining Warwick Boat Club where she was lured by the castle and river setting.

She has since gone on to represent Warwickshire and Great Britain, winning the singles and doubles annual grass court championship at Wimbledon in her age group in 1994 and 1999 and eight international golds, the latest in September.