With over 30 countries represented at the 2012 ITF Seniors World Championships, San Diego will have an truly international flavor in February.
© J. Fred Sidhu
40 players, 10 teams, one goal: To be 2012 World Champions.
© Christy Radecic
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
SAN DIEGO – The 2012 International Federation Seniors World Team Championships officially got underway as a festive and colorful opening ceremony took place on Sunday evening before a large gathering in Balboa Park at the San Diego Hall of Champions, the largest multi-sports museum in the United States.
The evening began with each country being introduced as the players proceeded into the museum. As the host country, the United States team was the last one announced as loud cheers greeted the U.S. players. Moments later, the American flag was presented by the Marine Color Guard from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego and the National Anthem was sung.
Several dignitaries and tournament officials spoke during the ceremony, including tournament director Bill Kellogg, who welcomed the players and provided insight on the collective effort it took for San Diego to host this year’s ITF Seniors World Team and Individual Championships.
"There is going to be some spectacular senior tennis played over these two weeks," said Kellogg, who also serves as President of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. "With players coming from all over the world, the level of tennis is going to be very, very high. I strongly encourage tennis fans to come out and support this great event."
The ITF Senior World Team Championships, which features competition in 10 age groups, will be played from Monday, February 6 through Saturday, February 11 at seven San Diego County tennis venues.
The age groups and the trophies they are playing for are as follows:
Men’s 35 – Italia Cup Women’s 35 – Suzanne Lenglen Cup
Men’s 40 – Tony Trabert Cup Women’s 40 – Young Cup
Men’s 45 – Dubler Cup Women’s 45 – Margaret Court Cup
Men’s 50 – Fred Perry Cup Women’s 50 – Maria Esther Bueno Cup
Men’s 55 – Austria Cup Women’s 55 – Maureen Connolly Cup
The cup competitions will be played at the following locations:
Austria Cup and Maureen Connolly Cup – Balboa Tennis Club, 2221 Morley Field Drive, San Diego
- Tony Trabert Cup and Young Cup – Barnes Tennis Center, 4490 West Point Loma Boulevard, San Diego
- Italia Cup and Suzanne Lenglen Cup – La Costa Resort and Spa, 2100 Costa Del Mar Road, Carlsbad
- Dubler Cup – Morgan Run Club & Resort, 5690 Cancha de Golf, Rancho Santa Fe
- Maria Esther Bueno Cup – San Diego Tennis & Racquet Club, 4848 Tecolote Road, San Diego
- Margaret Court Cup and Fred Perry Cup – La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, 2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla and La Jolla Tennis Club, 7632 Draper Avenue, La Jolla
The United States team is the defending champion in the Young Cup, Margaret Court Cup, Maria Esther Bueno Cup, Austria Cup and the Suzanne Lenglen Cup.