California, USA, Reporting from Afar
The opening ceremonies of the ITF Super Senior World Team Championships (ISSWTC) in Umag took place yesterday, as well as the captains’ meetings, during which the draws were made.
Photos courtesy of Carol Wood, Bob Litwin and the players’ facebook posts!
The USA is seeded in each category and all teams, other than the Women’s 85 (a new division which only has 2 teams, USA and Argentina).
The most dramatic tie of the day was that of the USA Women’s 80 team vs Australia. Both singles matches went to match tiebreaks (match tiebreaks are only used in the 80 & 85 divisions). First Burnett Herrick won 64 46 1/0 (6). That match was not exciting compared to the one Dorothy Wasser won. Dorothy, playing on her first ever cup team, debuted at #1 singles! She dropped the first set 62, won the second 76 (4), then squeaked out the tiebreak 13-11! I wasn’t there but imagine she held off some match points along the way. That gave the USA, the #2 seeds, an unassailable lead. Carol Wood and Sheila Palmer (another woman making her Cup debut in the 80s), were scheduled to play the doubles point.
In contrast to the women’s 80s, the women’s 65 (Kitty Godfree) easily beat Croatia, dropping only two games in beating the host country. Wendy McColsky & Tina Karwasky played #2 and #1 singles respectively, while Jan Kirkland Cochran made her Cup debut alongside Lil Peltz-Petow in doubles.
The women’s 70 (Althea Gibson), beat Sweden convincingly. Judy Dixon made her singles Cup debut at #2 and Toni Novack, fresh off winning the 65 singles at the GMP Cup in Umag the week before, won at #1 singles. Brenda Carter, returning to competitive play after a knee injury, combined with Liane Bryson, the 2018 world doubles champion, to take the doubles point.
The Queens Cup team, W75, took on Argentina. Carolann Castell at #2 and Charleen Hillebrand at #1 prevailed in singles and doubles.
The Britannia Cup, M65, beat Hungary 3/0; Geoff Cykman played #2, Mark Meyers #1 and Gary Jenkins/Tom Smith won the doubles point.
The Jack Crawford (M70) team easily beat Australia in the singles behind the play of Geoff Moore (#2) and Bob Litwin (#1); Brent Abel/Steve Gottlieb dropped the first set in doubles before rebounding to finish strongly 26 62 61.
In men’s 75 (Bitsy Grant) play, USA beat Zimbabwe 3/0; Don Long won at #2, Jimmy Parker had a tough 2-set tussle with Roger Dowdeswell at #1 and Dean Corley/David Dollins took the doubles point.
USA won 3/0 against Croatia in the Gardnar Mulloy Cup (M80). Lester Sack at #2 and Bob Quall at #1 played singles; Herm Ahlers/Wilbur Jones won the doubles point.
The very strong men’s 85s team, led by legendary Kin Van Nostrand, beat Australia 3/0. Joe Russell held on to win a tough 2nd set 76 at #2 singles while King at #1 and George McCabe/John Powless (another legend) completed the win.