The ITF Super Senior World Team Championships were declared open by ITF Rep Elsie today in Croatia. The opening ceremonies went off smoothly (Thank you Petra Martic and team). There were four players selected by each country to carry their countries’ flags, while the remaining players watched them parade in from the stadium. After some speeches and an Umag folk dance, players adjourned for champagne..(all but the US team which had its photo taken to the blaring of music inside the stadium…my ears are still pained from it).
There were captains’ meetings first though to explain how the event was going to work this year (practice at 8:30 and 8:50; no play before 10; #2 singles followed within 20 minutes by #1 singles, then 30 or so minutes later a doubles match; 2 out of 3 sets, regular scoring; match tiebreak only for the men’s and women’s 80s divisions).
I am an ITF rep for the men’s 75 (Bitsy Grant Cup) and women’s 70s (Althea Gibson Cup) teams. The meetings went smoothly, the players were prepared and the referees (Alex and Vladislov) and ITF staff (Hayley and Rachel) were brilliant.
The USA is seeded in all eight Cups: #1 in the three divisions they won last year: Men’s 80, Women’s 75 & 65; #2 in Men’s 65 and Women’s 70; #3 in Men’s 70 and Women’s 80 and #4 in Men’s 75. To see the draws, click here (and scroll down).
Prior to the opening ceremony we took some team photos and I took a lot of the players walking into the stadium. Photos can be found here. I will add to them during the week as I have a chance.
Well, the day started early as I hit at 7am with Cindy Babb…we are starting earlier yet tomorrow, 6:45. We heard the roosters today as we were hitting…the striking of the ball must have awakened them!
Below are photos of all the team other than Men’s 65 (coming soon) and of the three “rookies” (Judith Smith, W80; Peggy Andry, Women’s 70 and Owen Robertson, Men’s 65).