He may have had a late start, but he is finishing strong.



Evert Jonsson, 69, of Miramar Beach, along with playing partner Jimmy Parker brought home the gold from the 33rd International Tennis Federation Super Senior World Championships in Austria.



"When I started playing tournaments 10 years ago, everybody was beating up on me because I wasn't that good," Jonnson said.



However over the years he has learned a thing or two.



 "If you want to win in doubles you pick a good partner," he said.



The first week of the two-week international tournament was team competition where national teams of participating countries play against each other.



Jonsson, a Sweden native, still has Swedish citizenship although he's lived in the United States for the past 25 years. And as runner-up, in both men's singles and doubles in the 2013 Swedish National tournament held in July in Bastad, Sweden, Jonsson was chosen to be part of the Swedish national team. This was the second time he made the national team, participating in 2011 when the event was held in Antalya, Turkey.



Sweden didn't fare well in the national competition on week one. However, week two was much better.



Jonsson, who lives at Tops'l Beach and Tennis Resort, partnered in doubles with Parker, the No. 1 player in U.S. men's tennis in the 70-75 age group, and the two won the gold medal. They won each match in straight sets, including a victory over a previous world champion in men's doubles.



Growing up in Sweden, Jonsson says he got a late start at the game of tennis, not picking up the game until age 30.



"Soccer was the big thing," he said, and he later became "a weekend warrior" in the game of tennis.



In the last 10 years he's been playing a lot of tournaments and practicing five to six days a week.



He said people retire and take on projects, "this is my project."



And he has no plans for laying down his racquet.



"As long as I play tennis I live," he said. "It helps with everything. It's really hard to stay in shape, if you do not have any competition. Tennis is my thing."