'A Wonderful Event'
USA at Young Seniors Championships
November 4, 2019
Six teams traveled to Miami, Fla. from Oct. 20-25 to represent the United States and American tennis at the 2019 ITF Young Seniors World Team Championships.
The ITF Young Seniors World Team Championships is the highest-ranked event on the ITF Seniors Circuit for male and female players in the 35- to 45-and-over age divisions, and is the equivalent of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup national competitions in professional tennis.
The top American finish at the Miamia Beach Tennis Center came from the women’s 45 & Over team (pictured, above), who finished in third place in the competition for the Margaret Court Cup.
Captained by Sophie Woorons (not pictured) of Anderson, S.C., the Americans finished at the top of Group C, ahead of Brazil and Paraguay, before losing a tight match in the first-to-sixth playoff round to France, the eventual champions.ADVERTISEMENT
They nonetheless bounced back to beat Germany, which finished fourth, in the consolation match.
The team (l to r) was also made up of Nancy Hilliard (Corpus Christi, Texas), Tracie Currie (Ventura, Calif.) and Jenny Klitch (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.).
"The Young Seniors World Championships held in Miami Beach was a wonderful event. Players from 18 countries arrived in Miami Beach and were treated to a week of high level tennis and events, ranging from parachutists and salsa dancers at Opening Ceremonies to a Bloody Ball Halloween costume party," said Hilliard.
"The most meaningful part of my week was not only the honor of representing my country, the team camaraderie, and high level match play, but also the friendships developed and strengthened with tennis players from around the world.
"I cherish the memories of a big team USA dinner with the men’s and women’s teams, grocery shopping with the Swedish girls at Publix, learning card tricks from the Irish team, watching the French girls dance to Thriller (in their Michael Jackson costumes) at the Bloody Ball, trading shirts with a Swiss player, and sharing peanut butter sandwiches with my German opponent while our teammates battled each other.
"I never dreamed that at age 48, I would still be competing in a sport; much less, on an international level. Tennis is the sport that honors our age; allowing us to compete on a local, national, and international level well beyond our high school and college years. In fact, there are no age boundaries with tennis. God willing, I hope to be one of the ladies in the 90+ division; traveling, competing, and cherishing new friendships."
The full list of players representing the US in their respective divisions, as well as placings, can be found below.
Following the ITF Young Seniors World Team Championships, the World Individual Championships were held from Oct. 26-Nov. 2, also in Miami.
The U.S. had a trio of second-place finishers, with Anda Perianu finishing runner-up to Germany's Steffi Bachofer in the women's 35 & over singles draw, Jenny Klitch and Andrea Rice placing second in the women's 45 and over doubles to Slovenia, and Brandon Blankenbaker and Marvin Colley finishing runners-up in the men's 35 & over doubles to a pair from Italy and the Netherlands.
In addition, Perianu and her partner Kaysie Smashey reached the semifinals in doubles in the women's 35 and over draw, while Smashey herself was a semifinalist in the singles. Rounding out the effort, Oren Motevassel also reached the final four in the men's singles 45 and over bracket.
2019 ITF Young Seniors World Team Championships Results
Italia Cup - Men’s 35 & Over – Fifth Place
1. Brandon Blakenbaker, Charleston, S.C.
2. Jonathas Sucupira, Riverview, Fla.
3. Matthew Hane, Richmond, Va. - Captain
4. Quinn Borchard, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Trabert Cup – Men’s 40 & Over – Seventh Place
1. Chris Groer, Knoxville, Tenn.
2. Michael Halperin, Boca Raton, Fla.
3. Paulo Barros, Fort Myers, Fla.
4. Stuart “Ross” Duncan, Laguna Hills, Calif. - Captain
Dubler Cup – Men’s 45 & Over – 11th Place
1. Art Hernandez, Huntington Beach, Calif.
2. Michael Chang, Anaheim, Calif.
3. Neel GrOver, Laguna Beach, Calif. - Captain
4. Raj Vaswani, New York
Suzanne Lenglen Cup - Women’s 35 & Over – Fifth Place
1. Evgenia Docter, Atlanta
2. Heather Nobler, Coral Springs, Fla.
3. Julie Thu, West Lake Hills, Texas
4. Kaysie Smashey, San Angelo, Texas - Captain
Young Cup - Women’s 40 & Over – Fourth Place
1. Amanda Parson Siegel, Henderson, Nev. - Captain
2. Lizl Kotz, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
3. Millie Yablonicky, Encinitas, Calif.
4. Yulia Bolotova, Philadelphia
Margaret Court Cup - Women’s 45 & Over – Third Place
1. Jenny Klitch, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
2. Nancy Hilliard, Corpus Christi, Texas
3. Sophie Woorons, Anderson, S.C. - Captain
4. Tracie Currie, Ventura, Calif.