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Artin Elmayan

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Elmayan, 95, is World's Oldest Ranked Professional Tennis Player

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) - Creaky joints haven't stopped a 95-year-old from playing the sport he loves as the world's oldest ranked professional tennis player.

Armenian-born Artin Elmayan lives and breathes tennis, playing the sport three times a week to stay fit and healthy.

The sports fan is the oldest of a group of 39 men in the ITF's over-85 ranking, however Elmayan is the only player born before 1920.

'Eighty-five plus, because there isn't anyone who's 90, much less 95. So I have to play against 85-year-olds,' explained the pensioner, who trains in River Plate, Argentina.

'I do all right, sometimes I take second place. Last year I won second place twice. It depends on the state of my opponent, and my own. There are no enigmas here.'

Elmayan, who emigrated to Argentina in 1938, travels from the suburbs to the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires three times a week to practice the hobby he has played almost all his life.

'If my body and feet allow it, I'm not going to sit still. As far as stretching, I take the train and walk from the station to here. When I get here I've already loosened up,' said the track-suited player.

'First there is eating and then comes tennis,' he adds. 'It is part of my life to stay in shape in every way.

'Tennis makes you breathe oxygen, keeps your body in shape, keeps you from getting a belly, or getting fat, helps fight cholesterol problems and everything," he said.

'Now, if you stop coming, if I go two months without playing, I'll get a belly.'

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