US Teams Strike Gold in Croatia
USA Super Senior Teams were Super Duper in Croatia during the ITF Super Senior World Championships. Super Seniors encompasses age divisions 65-80 in five year increments, so the USA teams were playing for gold in eight Cups in Croatia. The Cups and their names are:
· Women’s 65: Kitty Godfree Cup
· Women’s 70: Althea Gibson Cup
· Women’s 75: Queens Cup
· Women’s 80: Doris Hart Cup
· Men’s 65: Britannia Cup
· Men’s 70: Jack Crawford Cup
· Men’s 75: Bitsy Grant Cup
· Men’s 80: Gardnar Mulloy
These Cups are named after legendary players from Australia, the USA and Great Britain (other than the Queens and Britannia Cups). Each Cup tie consists of three matches played consecutively; #2 singles, followed by #1 singles and then doubles. The first three days are devoted to pool (round robin) play, followed by three days of knockout rounds.
The USA nearly swept the women’s divisions, winning the Kitty Godfree, Queens and Doris Hart Cups. The USA won the Doris Hart Cup for the first time.
The USA medaled in all four men’s Cups, finishing second in the Brtiannia and Bitsy Grant Cups and third in the Jack Crawford and Gardnar Mulloy Cups.
The members of the Kitty Godfree Cup team were Brenda Carter (captain), Kerry Young, Carol Clay and Kathy Bennett. They beat Great Britain 2/1 in the final, dropping the doubles point only after securing the Cup by sweeping both singles matches. Carter and Young played singles.
The members of the Queens Cup team were Donna Fales (captain), Lynn Little, Roz King and Grace Woo. They beat Great Britain 3/0 behind the strong singles play of Fales and Little. This team didn’t drop a single match in the 15 played during the week.
The Doris Hart Cup members were Rose Austin (captain), Burnett Herrick, Judy Smith and Mary John Lynch. Their toughest match came in the round robin portion of the competition against New Zealand where they split the singles and the first two sets of the deciding doubles before winning a thrilling match tiebreak 10-8.
The Britannia Cup team members were Brian Cheney (captain), Padg Bolton, Michael Beautyman and Owen Robertson. They lost 2/0 to Spain in the final. Bolton lost a heartbreaking three set match at #2 singles and Cheney fell to the great Spaniard Jorge Camina Borda. Cheney and Beautyman had to win deciding doubles matches twice to reach the final, against Sweden on the first day and France in the semifinals.
The Bitsy Grant Cup team consisted of Joe Bachmann (captain), Rudy Hernando, Lester Sack and Bob Quall. They upset #2 seeded Austria (led by Peter Pokorny) in the semis, but lost Bachmann’s singles services in so doing as he fell and sprained his knee playing Pokorny. However, Hernando and Sack were able to win the doubles point and Sack won at #2 singles. In the final they lost to a tough German team 2/1, salvaging the doubles point after Sack lost a long three setter and Hernando lost a tough match at #1 in two long sets.
The Jack Crawford Cup members were Jody Rush (captain), Dick Johnson, Hugh Thomson and David Nash. They lost a tough match in the semis to the Netherlands. USA and Netherlands split the singles but USA unexpectedly fell in doubles. They rebounded to beat Germany 2/1, and this time Thomson/Johnson won the deciding doubles match in straight sets to clinch the bronze. Dick Johnson wore the extra warm up Hugh Thomson brought all week because the airline lost his luggage…he finally got his clothes on Monday, 10 days later!
The Gardnar Mulloy Cup team, George McCabe (captain), Neil Hurlbut, John Powless and Chuck Nelson were upset by Germany 2/1 in the semis. McCabe injured a hamstring but fought well, losing in a match tiebreak. Hurlbut couldn’t hold off Herbert Althaus, the top German at #1 singles but Powless/Nelson salvaged the doubles point in a match tiebreak. In the third place playoff, with both Powless and McCabe out with injuries, Hurlbut was the hero of the day, winning both his singles and doubles matches to earn the bronze medal for the USA.