GB Super Seniors claim trio of World Championship crowns in Croatia
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Three of Great Britain’s Super Seniors team are on top of the tennis world after showing age is no barrier to international success in claiming gold at the 2019 ITF Super Seniors World Championships in Croatia.
For players aged 65 and over, the 39th edition of the event saw 511 players from 39 nations around the globe compete for the titles. A magnificent performance from the 28-strong Great Britain squad saw them win medals in 14 categories across two weeks of team and individual competition.
Leading the way with gold medals in their categories were Anne Williams (Women’s 85 Doubles, Kent), Frances MacLennan (Women’s 75 Doubles, Surrey) and Shirley Fox (Women’s 70 Doubles, Leicestershire), adding to four silver and seven bronze medals for the Great Britain team.
Shirley, from Oadby near Leicester, partnered Australia’s Kerry Ballard to claim the Women’s 70 and over doubles title, with an impressive series of performances that saw the duo not drop a set throughout the tournament and defeat the No.1 seeds in the final 6-3, 6-4. It gives the pair a second world title together, repeating their feat from 2014 when they won the Women’s 65 gold, and Shirley a second individual medal alongside a silver from the mixed doubles with Yorkshire’s Wilf Jessop.
Speaking after returning home as a newly crowned world champion, Shirley said: “I am obviously thrilled to have won the doubles again. Being part of the GB team in Croatia was an honour. If you are able to keep playing tennis at my age there are opportunities to meet and compete against players from all over the world in amazing locations. And all because I still play tennis!”
Joining Shirley on top of the world is London’s Frances MacLennan, who claimed the Women’s 75 doubles title to add to her growing list of achievements on the international stage. The LTA’s 2018 Seniors Player of the Year partnered Susy Burggraf of Switzerland, coming back from a set down to win their quarter-final and beating the No.2 seeds in a tight semi-final, before seeing off the challenge of the No.1 seeds 6-3, 6-4 to claim the gold medal.
Frances went into the doubles final on good form having also claimed a bronze medal in the Women’s 75 Singles. No.7 seed, Frances beat the No.3 seed in straight sets in the quarter-final, before losing to the eventual winner, Germany’s Heide Orth, in the semi-finals.
Great Britain’s third gold medallist was Kent’s Anne Williams. Competing in the Women’s Doubles for players aged 85 and over, the Orpington-based player partnered Wil Sevenstern of the Netherlands. The pair came through a hard fought semi-final by winning a deciding tie-break, going on to repeat that feat in the final against the No.1 seeds to triumph 7-5, 2-6, [10-6]. Anne then added to her tally by partnering Australia’s Robert Barwick to claim silver in the Mixed 85 Doubles.
The individual world championships in Croatia were preceded by the Super Seniors World Team Championships, with the squad winning three medals. Great Britain’s Women’s 70’s team claimed a silver medal, with the Women’s 75’s and Men’s 85’s both winning bronze.
Seniors Tennis GB is a member organisation of the LTA dedicated to advancing the interests of the game of tennis for players of all standards aged 35 years and over. Seniors can take part in tennis at a recreational level at venues across the county, while there are regular local, regional and national competitions for those that wish to take part.
At an international level, the LTA supports Great Britain teams and individuals to compete across all age groups. The Super Seniors World Championships are for players aged 65 and over. The event is complimented by the Seniors World Championships for players aged 50-64 which took place in Portugal in August, and the Young Seniors World Championships for players aged 35-49 which take place in the USA later this month.
Find out more about seniors tennis and how to get involved via the Seniors Tennis section of our website.
2019 Super Seniors Individual Championships - GB medallists
Gold medal winners:
Women's 70 Doubles: Shirley Fox (Leicestershire) - partnering Kerry Ballard (Australia)
Women's 75 Doubles: Frances MacLennan (Surrey) - partnering Susy Burggraf (Switzerland)
Women's 85 Doubles: Anne Williams (Kent) - partnering Wil Sevenstern (Netherlands)
Silver medal winners:
Men's 70 Doubles: Chris Ornstien (Sussex) - partnering Bruce Barrett (USA)
Mixed 70 Doubles: Shirley Fox & Wilf Jessop (Yorkshire)
Mixed 85 Doubles: Anne Williams - partnering Robert Barwick (Australia)
Bronze medal winners:
Women's 75 Singles: Frances MacLennan
Women's 65 Doubles: Lillian Geey (Lancashire) & Susan Winters (Cheshire)
Women's 65 Doubles: Pauline Fisher & Diana Smith (both Herefordshire & Worcestershire)
Mixed 70 Doubles: Phyllis Bentham (Lancashire) - partnering Bruce Barrett (USA)
Men's 75 Doubles: Norman Church (Bedfordshire) & Roger Taylor (Surrey)
2019 Super Seniors Team Championships
GB Women's 70s Silver Medal Winners - Captained by Marjory Love
- Shirley Fox, Belinda Blackburn, Rosemary Wilson & Marjory Love (Captain)
GB Women's 75s Bronze Medal Winners - Captained by Frances Maclennan,
- Jackie Boothman, Felicity Thomas, Jenny Waggottt & Frances Maclennan (Captain)
GB Men's 85s Bronze Medal Winners
- Tom Baron, Gordon Oates, Leonard Phillips & Len Lawrence (Captain)
- Women's 65s finished 6th
- Women's 80s finished 6th
- Men's 80s finished 8th
- Men's 75s finished 9th
- Men's 70s finished 11th
- Men's 65s finished 12th