There’s a simple reason Kathy Bennett has spent the past five weeks traveling across the world and around the nation playing tennis tournaments: She simply loves to win.
“To answer your question in one word: yes,” said Bennett when asked if her motivation for playing top-level international and national senior events was to win. “I’m just a very competitive person and come from a sports family. I mean, I can leave it all on the court, but it depends on how I lose. If somebody just beats me I’m OK with it, but I don’t like to lose if I don’t play well or I didn’t hit the right shot or figure out the right strategy.”
The winning has been coming in droves recently for Bennett, a natural athlete who is considered one of the world’s best 65-and-over doubles players.
Recently, the 66-year-old Bennett of Laguna Woods joined doubles teammate Martha Downing, Brenda Carter and Carol Clay to lead Team USA to the Kitty Godfree Cup – a 65-and-over tournament which was part of the 34th annual ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships in Antalya, Turkey.
In the final, the team beat three-time defending champion France, 3-0. It was the first time since 2007 the U.S. team won the Cup.
After 18 days in Turkey, Bennett returned home but got right back on the road to help lead her Los Caballeros team to victory at the USTA League 4.5 40 and Over Nationals. Shortly after this interview, Bennett traveled to Arizona to compete in the 4.5 55 and Over Nationals followed by a swing through San Antonio for Intersectionals the following weekend.
“You could say I’m a little bit of a roll,” she said. “Sometimes it feels like I’m on the tour.”
For the past 15 years, Bennett has been married to nationally ranked player Richard Doss, and the two have won two Grand Slams nationally in Husband and Wife events.
With all the traveling she’s been doing, the duo opted to not play in a national event next month. “I’m going to see my grandchildren in Santa Barbara instead,” she said.
While Doss has won four Grand Slams (four national titles in one year), Bennett also boasts four, including two with her husband. In 2006 she won all four with four different partners, and in 2009 did it again, winning three of them with Downing.
Bennett and Downing this year won the Clay Court Nationals in Houston in the 65s, the Indoors in Kansas City and the Hardcourts in the 60s in La Jolla. The pair elected to not play in the Grass Courts.
This was Bennett’s third time representing the U.S. at the Super-Seniors event having also been named to the team in 2007 and 2010.
A 1966 graduate of Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove, Bennett came to tennis late, not picking up the game until she was 25.
An accomplished athlete, she played softball and volleyball in high school.
She recently told the Orange County Register what representing her country meant to her.
“When the box shows up and the warm-up says USA on the back, the hairs on your arm kind of stick out,” she said. “It’s pretty special.”