Team USA brought home three Cups at the 34th ITF Seniors World Team Championships.
© Sarah Lannon
By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com
Several U.S. teams took home gold medals at the 34th International Tennis Federation (ITF) Seniors World Team Championships, the senior tennis equivalent of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions.
The Men’s 45 & over team won the Dubler Cup with a 2-1 victory over France. The team was comprised of Oren Motevassel, Jeff Tarango, Mario Tabares and Art Hernandez, with Tabares and Hernandez prevailing in the deciding doubles match to win the cup. Motevassel, Tarango and Tabares all competed extensively on the ATP during their playing careers, with Tarango achieving a career-high doubles ranking of No. 9 and reaching the French Open men’s doubles final in 1999.
The Women’s 45 & over team retained the Margaret Court Cup by defeating France 2-1 in a tightly-contested final. The team was comprised of Jolene Watanabe, Jenny Klitch, Shelly Works and Alissa Finerman. Watanabe, Klitch and Finerman all competed on the WTA, with Watanabe achieving a career-high singles ranking of No. 72 in 1997.
The U.S. also won the Maureen Connolly Cup for the eighth consecutive time as the Women’s 55 & over team prevailed over Great Britain 2-1. The team was comprised of Diane Barker, Susan Wright, Tina Karwasky and Carolyn Nichols.
The Women’s 50 & over and Men’s 55 & over teams also posted strong results by finishing as runners-up in the Maria Bueno Cup and the Austria Cup, respectively. France defeated the U.S. 2-0 in the Women’s 50& over final, while Great Britain defeated the U.S. 2-1 in the Men’s 55 & over final.
The ITF Seniors World Team Championships is the top team event on the ITF Seniors circuit. Since its inception in 1981, the number of competitors attracted to this event has increased each year. In 1993, the ITF divided the Seniors World Championships into two groups – Seniors (35 to 55-plus) and Super-Seniors (60 to 80-plus for men and 60 to 75-plus for women).
Following the ITF Seniors World Team Championships, the World Individual Championships will take place from April 27-May 4.