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Paredes humbled on debut

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:26

Thirty-two years after American Renee Richards became the first transsexual in the professional game, Andrea Paredes von Roth made her debut in Buenos Aires in a Futures tournament at the age of 37.

However, she was thrashed 6-0 6-0 by British qualifier Nicola Slater.

Paredes was born on July 4, 1971, as Ernesto Paredes, but underwent a sex-change operation in October 2000.

A long fight for acceptance came to an end when she was permitted by the ITF to play in Buenos Aires this week.

Paredes told the Clarin newspaper: “It’s a dream come true for me.

“Here I’ve been treated very well, better than in my country. They treat the issue more normally. I am proud to be the second (transsexual) tennis player after Richards”.

Paredes confessed she had tried unsuccessfully to play professional tournaments in Chile.

She added: “At the International Tennis Federation (ITF) they were very open and they authorised me in November, after several tests.

“I am 37, but biologically it is as if I were 27. I think at this time any ideas about age are obsolete. I take the match calmly, it is the start of my career. I worked hard in silence for two years.”

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