New England Super Seniors Win World Team Championships
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | October 24, 2017
ORLANDO, FL- Three New Englanders competed on the world stage in Orlando as they represented Team USA at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super-Seniors World Team Championships. The United States took home seven of the nine division titles up for grabs at the USTA’s National Campus from October 8-13 ranging from Men’s and Women’s 65 & Over to 85 & Over.
Molly Hahn, of Belmont, MA, captained the Women’s 65 & Over team that defeated Australia in the Kitty Godfree Cup. Joining her on the team was Cambridge, MA’s Victoria McEvoy. Susan Kimball, of Oak Bluffs, MA, was part of the team that defeated the Netherlands to win the Althea Gibson Cup for Women’s 70 & Over.
The tournament is the senior tennis equivalent of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions, with top American tennis players representing their country in each age division.
The women’s teams swept the four age divisions, thanks largely in part to Captain Molly Hahn and her 65 & Over squad. In one of the larger fields in the tournament, the age group featured 19 nations competing in flight play and then main draw action.
The No. 2 seeded Americans swept their flight by defeating Japan and Belgium each 3-0 to move onto the quarterfinals against South Africa. Hahn’s squad defeated South Africa and then Great Britain in the semis both by 2-1 margins. In the championship match, the U.S. took town powerhouse and top-seeded Australia, 2-1.
“This competition is the equivalent of the Olympics for Super Senior tennis players. Thus, we were playing against the four best tennis players selected by each of their countries in the 65 and Over age division. It is a tremendous honor and it allowed each of us to make new friends from all over the world,” Hahn said.
Hahn and fellow New Englander Victoria McEvoy competed in the doubles position for their team, winning three matches and losing two. Tina Kawarsky (Glendale, CA) and Wendy McColskey (Durham, NC) were the singles representatives, and McEvoy credits them for the team’s tremendous success.
“I was mostly in a supporting role as we had two outstanding singles players,” McEvoy said. “I was incredibly honored to be part of the U.S. team and will always remember this memorable week. All the glory should be showered on Tina and Wendy who played so well for us.”
On the Women’s 70 & Over side, Sue Kimball was joined by Captain Brenda Carter (Charleston, SC), Carol Clay, (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and Leslie Pixley, (Malvern, PA).
The Americans found themselves unseeded in a 13-team field and wound up in the same flight as top overall seed Great Britain, which the U.S. lost to in the first round in 2016.
In their first matchup of the tournament however, Kimball’s team had no trouble exacting revenge on Great Britain, as the Americans dominated 3-0. The team continued to roll, defeating Argentina 3-0 in flight play and then South Africa 3-0 in the semifinals.
The 2016 runners up, the Netherlands, were waiting for them in the finals in what would turn out arguably be the match of the tournament. After splitting the singles positions, the deciding point came down to Kimball in the doubles match. Kimball had been playing with partner Leslie Pixley all week, but since Kimball and Brenda Carter had teamed up last year to win the World Individual Championships, the team decided on a late switch in hopes of the duo bringing home another title.
After a first-set victory by Kimball and Carter, the duo found themselves serving up 4-3 in the second. A bout of rain forced the remainder of the match to be postponed until the next morning. An hour and a half after waiting for the courts to dry in the morning, the match resumed.
Kimball lost her first service game and the Netherlands held to put the Americans down 4-5. The teams each held serve once again, pushing the score to 5-6. Kimball then rallied back to hold serve and force a tiebreak, where her team ultimately prevailed.
“It is a very special experience representing the U.S. in a team event, a privilege really. Our team spirit was great and we all pulled together so that we could be victorious,” Kimball said.