By Carolyn Nichols
Twelve SoCal players have been selected to represent the USA in the 34th ITF (International Tennis Federation) Senior World Team Championships in Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. This prestigious international team event will be held April 21-26 and will be played on green clay. This event is the senior equivalent of Davis Cup and Fed Cup for players age 35, 40, 45, 50, and 55 and over. The SoCal players selected by the USTA to represent their country in this event are: Gee Gee Garvin (Carlsbad), Alissa Finerman (Santa Monica), Carolyn Nichols (Rancho Santa Fe), Tina Karwasky (Glendale), Mike Fedderly (Palm Desert), Thomas Kong (Ventura), Jeff Tarango (Manhattan Beach), Art Hernandez (Huntington Beach), William Quest (Ventura), Guillaume Gauthier (Camarillo), Michael Chang (Anaheim), and Ross Duncan (Laguna Beach).
Each Cup team consists of four players selected from the entire country, based on their USTA senior tournament results in 2013. There will be teams from around the globe, representing six continents. In 2013 the USA won the Maureen Connolly Cup (women 55+) and Maria Bueno Cup (women 50+). The USA finished second in the Austria Cup (men 55+), and Dubler Cup (men 45+) and third in the Suzanne Lenglen Cup (women 35+). The USA did not medal but finished 6th in the Margaret Court Cup (women 45+), 8th in the Young Cup (40+), 12th in the Italia Cup (men 35+), 13th in the Tony Trabert Cup (men 40+) and 7th in the Fred Perry Cup (men 50+). This event was held on red clay in Turkey in 2013.
Meet the players:
Garvin will be playing on the Lenglen Cup team. It will be her first time playing on a senior international team. She had a great 2013, winning doubles titles at the Clay and Indoors. She won the 35 Indoor in singles and was fourth at the 35 Clay. Her teammates will be Simona Bruetting (Highlands Ranch, CO, playing captain), Fanny Gamble (San Rafael) and Yulia Bolotova (Philadelphia, PA). It will be an international team: Bruetting is a Slovakian native, Gamble is from Israel and Bolotova was born in Russia. All four players are rookie Cup team members.
Finerman has been named to the Margaret Court Cup team for women 45+ for the second time. Her teammates are Jolene Watanabe (Hilton Head, SC), Jenny Klitch (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) and Shelly Works (San Antonio, TX, playing captain). The USA Court Cup team finished sixth in 2013. Finerman, a doubles specialist, won three national championships in 2013 with three different partners: the 45 Clay (with Erika Smith), the 45 Indoors (with Mary Dailey) and the 35 Hard (with Simona Bruetting). She was a finalist at the 45 Hard and 35 Indoors. Watanabe also has a SoCal background, having played her junior tennis in SoCal. She is Karwasky’s niece. The Court Cup will be played at the Polo Club in Boca Raton.
Karwasky and Nichols have been named to the Connolly Cup team. Both are veterans of Cup play, none more than Karwasky, who has played on over 20 teams. Her record in 2013 was outstanding even for her: She lost only one singles and one doubles match! In the 60+ category she won all four national singles titles, the Clay, Hard and Grass doubles, and the 60+ World singles and doubles titles (all with Mary Ginnard). She led the 60+ team (Alice Marble Cup) to victory in Austria. In the 55+ category, she won the Grass singles and doubles, the Hard doubles and the world doubles titles (all with Susan Wright, Grand Junction, CO). She was a member of the championship 2013 Connolly Cup team. In all, she won 10 national championships and five world championships last year! Nichols will captain the 2014 Connolly Cup team. She won the 55 Clay doubles (with Wright) in 2013 and was a finalist at the 2013 Hard in singles. Internationally she won five singles titles, including the European Open Seniors in 55 singles and was a doubles finalist and singles bronze medalist at the ITF Seniors Individual World Championships. She finished 2013 ranked #1 in singles and #2 in 55 doubles by the ITF. Wright and Diane Barker (Daniel Island, SC) complete this team. The Connolly Cup will play at the BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens.
Duncan has been named to the Italia Cup team for the third straight year. He won the prestigious Mission Hills tournament over Gauthier in 2013 and repeated as singles champion in 2014, adding the doubles title there this year. His teammates are Michael Halperin (Boca Raton, FL), Mark Tepes (Medford, NJ, playing captain) and Jared Jacobs (Scottsdale, AZ). The team will be playing at Boca Grove in Boca Raton.
Gauthier, Quest and Chang will be joined by Rick Witsken (Fishers, IN) on the Tony Trabert Cup (men’s 40+) team. The USA will look to improve on last year’s finish in this age division. Gauthier is new to the 40s and will captain this team. In 2013 he won the 35 Indoor singles and doubles and the Hard and Grass doubles. Chang was a singles finalist at the 40 Clay and 40 Hard last year, and ended 2013 ranked #1 nationally in 40 singles. This is the first time he’s been selected to a senior Cup team. (And no, he’s not THAT Michael Chang!) Quest placed third at the 40 Grass and was second in January 2014 at the Asics tournament in Rancho Mirage, beating Chang en route to the final (where he fell to Gauthier). The Trabert Cup will be played at the BallenIsles Country Club.
Tarango and Hernandez have been selected to play on the Dubler Cup team. Tarango, a former Stanford star and touring pro, won the 45 Hard singles and doubles and 40 mixed and men’s doubles titles. He was a semifinalist in men’s 45 singles at the world championships in Turkey. Tarango will be captaining this team. Hernandez will be playing on his first senior international Cup team in 2014. He won his first singles national title, the 45 Indoors, in 2013 and took doubles gold at the 40 Indoors. He was a doubles finalist at the 40 Grass. Joining Hernandez and Tarango will be Mario Tabares (Miami, FL) and Oren Motevassel (San Jose). The Dubler Cup will take place at the Polo Club in Boca Raton.
Fedderly and Kong will be part of the Fred Perry Cup for men 50 and over. The USA Perry Cup team finished 6th in 2013 in Turkey. Fedderly won the 50 Hard singles and doubles and was a singles finalist and doubles champion at the 50 Clay (with Andy Stoner, Cave Creek, AZ). He won the ITF World doubles title and was a singles finalist in men’s 50 in 2012. Kong was a finalist at the 50 Hard in 2013. Stoner (playing captain) and Ken White (Elma, NY) complete this strong team. The Perry Cup competition will take place at the Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton.
For a list of all players named to US Senior International Teams, click here: