2019 Super-Seniors World Team Championships
After the seniors, it was the Super-Seniors’ turn to battle it out on the court in Umag, Croatia for a shot at the World Team title. From September 15-20, three NorCal players represented the section at the highest level when they competed at the 39th ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships.
A regular on Team U.S.A, San Francisco resident Geoff Cykman joined teammate Gary Jenkins, Mark Meyers and Tom Smith to form the U.S.A. Team competing in the Britannia Cup for the Men’s 65 & Over. Cykman and his teammates were undefeated in the round robin, beating Hungary and Poland 3-0. In the 1st-7th playoff match, Team U.S.A. ran into a very strong French team, stopping them in their run 3-0. France eventually went on to win the competition. But Geoff and the rest of Team U.S.A. bounced back in the playoff match to overcome Australia 2-0, coming home with an exciting third place medal.
Geoff was joined in Umag, Croatia, by another Team U.S.A. veteran Brent Abel from Moraga, CA. Competing in the Jack Crawford Cup for the Men’s 70 & Over, Abel first came up against Australia, winning their first round 3-0. In their next round robin match, Team U.S.A. overcame Italy 2-1, with Abel easily beating his opponent at the No. 2 single. “The night after our first match, Jeff had a fall and tried to break his fall with his hand but injured it,” Brent Abel, the team’s captain explained. “My mindset had to change a little because I had to get ready for the first match of the day instead of just worrying about the doubles. But the good part was that it was one match at a time so I could focus on my match then helping the players.” In their final round robin match, Abel and his teammates had another sweep against Ireland, beating them 3-0. The next day, Team U.S.A. took on Canada for a spot in the semifinals. After a tough fight and two matches in one day, Abel helped his team beat their neighbor 2-1. In the semifinal, Team U.S.A battled but fell to Denmark 2-1, losing two matches in three sets. They came back strong against Switzerland, sweeping them 3-0, to also come back with a third place finish. “We did a lot better than last year and the theme this year was team first, and all the players were on board, which made it so much easier.”
The last NorCal player to be selected on Team U.S.A. is Robert Quall from Merced, CA. Competing in the Gardnar Mulloy Cup for the Men’s 80 & Over, the U.S.A. team easily handled the Croatian and Danish teams 3-0 to make it out of the round robin undefeated. “Thanks to our No. 2 seed, we got lucky with the draw which definitely helped,” Robert Quall said. In the semifinals, the Americans couldn’t stop Chile, losing 2-1. “They have the No. 1 player in the world and within minutes of seeing him play, I told myself ‘boy he is good!’” Quall laughed. Just like their counter parts, Team U.S.A. finished strong, defeating Sweden 2-1 thanks to a 13-11 win in the third set by the No. 2 single. “It was a well-run event and all 10 U.S.A. Teams medaled, which doesn’t happen often, so it was great.”
Congratulations to all the NorCal players on representing the section so well at the highest level. Go Team NorCal!