The USA dominated the Super Senior International Team competition in Turkey in October. The USA won 5 of the 9 cups contested in Antalya, Canada, Australia, France and Austria won the remaining 4 events.
The USA won the Althea Gibson (women’s 70), Queens (women’s 75), Baron Von Cramm (men’s 60), Jack Crawford (men’s 70) and Gardnar Mulloy (men’s 80) cups. USA narrowly lost the final of the Britannia (men’s 65) and Bitsy Grant (men’s 75) cups. The USA finished 4th in the Alice Marble (women’s 60) and 5th in the Kitty Godfree (women’s 65) cups.
The Von Cramm (60’s) team consisted of captain Jimmy Parker, Hugh Thompson, Leland Housman and Ken Robinson. They reached the final without dropping a singles match. In the final Housman, playing #2 singles, won to start the team off in a good position. Parker lost a tight match to Peter Adrigan, but combined with Ken Robinson to win the deciding doubles match and the Cup.
The Britannia (65’s) team consisted of captain Hank Leichtfried, Joe Bachman, Rudy Hernando and George Sarantos. The USA beat Germany in the semis. The team then faced Austria in the final. Rudy Hernando played a perfect first set against Eberhard Madlsperger, but fell behind an early break in the 2nd set, losing it 63, and lost the third 61. Peter Pokorny played a flawless match to beat US #1 Joe Bachman. The USA won the doubles point behind George Sarantos and Hank Leichtfried.
The Crawford (70’s) team won their cup in dominant fashion. Their team hadn’t dropped a set en route to the final and the final day was no different. Gordon Davis, who was surprised with his success on the red clay, started the team off with a 60 61 over Frenchman Thadee Polak. King Van Nostrand then cemented the win with a 64 63 win over Joseph Matheo. The French team did not play the doubles against Richard Doss and John Powless.
The Grant Cup (75’s) final against Canada (Lorne Main and Ken Sinclair) was the longest tie of the day. Russell Seymour started the Americans off with a 3-set win at #2 singles. Seymour lost the 2nd set and was down break points in his second service game at 1-1. After he secured that game, he rolled to the win. Main did what he does best at #1 singles…win in straight sets. He beat Clem Hopp 64 61 after spotting him the first 3 games. Main and Sinclair took on the doubles team of Chuck DeVoe/Bill Davis. The first sets were close, with Canada winning the first and USA taking the second. The third set was played under tough lighting conditions, with shadows and sun making routine shots and adventure. There were many long games to begin the match, but Main/Sinclair won all of them and the set to secure the win.
The Mulloy (80’s) team was as dominant as the Crawford Cup team. The USA beat Great Britain 3-0 in the final. Tony Franco started the Americans off with a 60 60 win over Gerry Ells and Graydon Nichols sealed the team’s win with a 62 60 win over Robert Caruana. Newton Meade and Vinny Fotre won the doubles point.
The Marble (60) team was seeded #1, and easily won their round robin matches over Ireland and Canada. They then faced a tough French team in the semis. Charleen Hillebrand lost to Sylfie Kirsten. Captain Trish Faulkner said that Kirsten made 1 unforced error in the match. Mary Wilson played a terrific match against Gayle Lovera but fell 75 75. Faulkner/Hillebrand won the doubles point. In the ¾ playoff, the USA lost to Great Britain 2 matches to one. The teams split the singles, with Hillebrand winning at #1 and Wilson losing at #2. Great Britain then won the deciding doubles match. The French team went on to win the Cup over Germany 2-1. Suella Steel was the 4th team member.
The Godfree (65) team lost in their round robin group 2-1 to Germany. They won their remaining matches, beating Great Britain in the 5/6 playoff 3-0. The American team was captain Dori deVries, Susanne Clark, Kathy Langer and Norma Veal.
The Gibson (70) team easily won their first 3 matches against Swizerland, the Netherlands and New Zealand. They then played Great Britain. Boots Van Nostrand lost at #2 singles in 3 sets, but Dorothy Matthiessen, who only lost 3 games in 5 singles matches, won 60 61 and Matthiessen/Mary Boswell won the deciding doubles match 76 36 61. They faced Australia in the final, and again split the singles matches, with Boots falling at #2 singles and Dorothy winning at #1 singles. They clinched the Cup with a decisive 61 61 win in the doubles. Belmar Gudnerson captained this team.
The Queens (75) team won for the 4th straight year. No other country has yet won the Queens Cup. There were 5 teams this year, and the USA played Great Britain in its last match, Olga Mahaney went undefeated at #2 singles during the week and won her match in straight sets. Louise Russ faced Betty Howard at #1 singles, and won the first set before losing the 2nd in a tiebreaker. Howard’s forehand was really on and she was hitting some firm winners. The ITF requires that the 75’s division play a match tiebreaker. Louise lost the tiebreaker 12-10. That meant the doubles match would determine the Cup winner. Russ combined with Diane Hoffman while the 4th team member, Jane Lutz, kept score. Hoffman patrolled the net, and even served and volleyed some off of 2nd serves (and was quite effective with it). The Americans won in straight sets to clinch the Cup.