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Longtime Umpire Welch Retires

One of tennis' most respected umpires, Lynn Welch supervised WTA, ATP and ITF matches for 22 years.

Published April 08, 2013 11:58

Longtime Umpire Welch Retires
Lynn Welch

After 22 years of supervising matches for the WTA, ATP and ITF, 56-year-old umpire Lynn Welch has decided to retire to her home in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Welch grew up as a promising junior player in Maine and started her umpiring career in Hilton Head in 1991. Known for her distinct voice, she became one of the most-respected umpires in tennis.

Among Welch's accolades was earning a Gold Badge in 2003 - one of just 28 such umpires in the world and the only American female to receive that honor.

Welch ended up working more than 60 Grand Slams, highlighted by three Wimbledon finals and 12 US Open finals - including the 2002 Serena Williams versus Venus Williams showdown.

Welch's last event was the 2012 US Open, though her retirement didn't become official until last week.

"For so many years, I had the best seat in the house," Welch said. "It's been a great ride."

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