Childhood Friends Team Up To Win
Super-Senior World Championships
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | October 2, 2018
UMAG, CROATIA- The story of two lifelong tennis friends came full circle on the world stage as unsuspecting partners from New England teamed up to help lead the United States to a World Championship in Umag, Croatia.
From September 16-21, former WTA players Judy Dixon (Amherst, MA) and Victoria McEvoy (Cambridge, MA) competed as part of the American Kitty Godfree Cup team at the 38th ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships. The Kitty Godfree Cup (women 65 & over), is one of nine Super-Senior World Championship cups on the line in Umag. The cup divisions range in age from 65 & over to 85 & over groups. Teams feature four of the top players per country with three individual matches played per team match (two singles and one doubles).
The journey for the now 69-year-old World Champions began at age 13. ADVERTISEMENT Victoria McEvoy, then known as Victoria Rogers, and Judy Dixon, competed on the junior circuit together as part of USTA Eastern. They built a friendship and partnership both on and off the court and were a doubles force to be reckoned with in regional and national tournaments. The duo even reached the finals of the 18s National Grass Court Championships.
Despite playing their college tennis a mere miles away in southern California (Dixon at USC and McEvoy at UCLA) and both competing on the WTA tour, the young women lost touch. Following their professional playing days, their lives took them in entirely different directions, as McEvoy became a renowned pediatrician in Boston and Dixon became the winningist tennis coach in UMass history.
It wasn’t until 2008, 40 years after their last junior match together, that the two met again at an Intersectional event in Texas.
“When our Captain Molly Hahn (Belmont, MA) asked me if I knew Vicky before the Intersectionals, I said ‘Oh my God, we used to play doubles together.’ It was so exciting, I didn’t even realize she was living in New England,” Dixon recalled.
Nine years later when both decided to compete regularly on the tournament circuit, they renewed their partnership to see if there was any magic still left. In their first tournament back, they reached the finals of the National Senior Clay Courts, falling in three sets to their eventual World Championships teammate, Tina Karwasky.
Following the Clay Courts, the duo played a number of tournaments together and both found themselves on the US 65 & over World Championship team.
They, along with Karwasky, were joined by Wendy McClosky to complete the foursome.
The Americans went in as defending champions and No. 1 seeds, as the full squad minus Dixon took home Gold in 2017. Dixon replaced Hahn in 2018, who competed this year on the Althea Gibson Cup team (Women 70 & over), which took home second place.
“It was such an honor representing the US on the Cup team and to partner with my oldest friend, Judy Dixon. We had such a fun and exhilarating week together as a team,” McEvoy said.
Dixon and McEvoy played doubles once again, as Karwasky and McClosky held down the singles positions. Dixon and McEvoy worked seamlessly together, channeling their inner teenage selves.
“Every time we see each other and play together, we laugh and still feel like we’re 13 and relive those memories,” Dixon said “We can say whatever we want on court, and if we get mad we don’t take it personally. We just get each other, and keeping it light helps us play better.”
They finished 5-1 overall with their lone loss coming in the finals once the match against Australia had already been clinched.
For Dixon, playing on the world stage and representing her country was an experience unlike any other.
“This was thrilling for me. We had red, white and blue clothing and I was one of the people they asked to carry the American Flag during the opening ceremony. It gave me chills hearing them say, ‘Game USA,’ and standing up there for our National Anthem,” Dixon said. “This was one of my goals and I achieved it with friends and others from New England.”
Five New Englanders in total competed at the World Team Championships. In addition to Dixon, McEvoy and Hahn, Shiela Weinstock, of Weston, MA, captained the Queens' Cup team (Women 75 & over) that finished second, and Laury Hammel, of Cambridge, MA, competed on the Jack Crawford Cup squad (Men 70 & over) that finished ninth.
In total, the Americans won four of the nine total cups on the line at the championships.
For more info about the World Team Championships, click here.