GB Players triumph at the World Individual Championships 2021

26/11/2021

| Seniors Tennis

Despite a very difficult year, we are so proud to report some fantastic results for GB players over the past ITF World Championships.

Richard Stempnowski won the M30 doubles. Richard was born in London, grew up in Germany and Florida, and his parents are Polish. Here are Richard’s reflections on his experience:

"What made this tournament victory so much more special for me is that I had a bad herniated disc injury that kept me off court for several months from all physical activity between the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. In the beginning it was so bad that I was hardly able to get out of bed and had a sharp pain every time I sneezed. I worked very hard on rehab and then later, once my back improved, on gradually intensifying my tournament preparation.

"Later in the year, my best friend convinced me to also sign up for doubles to give it a shot with a top player from Germany, Jens Janssen, who I never met before, but we instantly played well together. In hindsight, loosing my singles in only the second round 3-6 3-6 to the eventual winner in Men's 30 also proved to be an advantage, as I was able to focus everything on doubles. It's a neat story and all things really came together perfectly for me to win this World Championship :-)."

Richard adds, "My main tennis successes came a bit later once I was in my late teens. Then I joined Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL in 2002. I became more disciplined and started training much harder and eventually became NCAA Division 2 All American and ranked top 10 in NCAA singles and doubles. From there, I started winning some bigger local tournaments. I also always coached and stayed involved with tennis, from being a tour coach for ITF world-ranked juniors or coaching at clubs to being hitting partner for Stan Wawrinka as well as some WTA pros. Maybe my new calling is to focus on the ITF Young Seniors Tour since winning the World Championship in Umag is certainly the biggest achievement of my long tennis career."

Great Britain’s Timur Shadiev teamed up with Marcus Hilpert (NED) to great effect in the men’s doubles, with the pair claiming the title for the loss of just nine games throughout the entire event. They dispatched top seeds Mathias Huning and Petr Kovacka 6-1 6-2 in the final before having to face off in the mixed doubles. But it was Hilpert who earned the bragging rights as he and countrywoman Mirjam Swarte overcame Piret Ilves and Shadiev 7-5 6-1 to cap a perfect week for the Dutchman

Chris Ornstien, an experienced ITF Seniors World Championship player and GB Team medallist, came closest to winning a singles gold, but narrowly lost out in the M75 singles. Chris, competing in the 75+ age group, ranked No.9 (in October 2021) in the world, but was seeded No.5 in this event, and reached the final of the singles by beating three other seeded players along the way – firstly a Swiss player, 6-3 6-4, who was the No.14, then in the quatre finals, the German No.1 seed (and then current World no. 1) who he beat 2-6 6-1 6-1.

In the first ever event held for the singles M90, Leonard Lawrence won a silver medal losing the final 1-6, 3-6 to Frenchman Henri Cruchet.

GB players triumphant at the ITF Young Seniors (30, 45) and the ITF Super-Seniors World Individual Championships (65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90)

Gold medal winners

MD30: Richard Stempnowski

MD50: Timur Shadiev

Silver medal winners

XD50: Timur Shadiev

MS75: Chris Ornstien

MS90: Leonard Lawrence

Bronze medal winners

MD60: Martin Gillam

MD60: Richard Jackson

MXD60: Martin Gillam

MS65: Martin Cornish

WS85: June Pearce

WD75: Christine Baron

XD85: Gordon Oates

XD85: June Pearce

XD85: Tom Baron

MD65: Edward Topham

MD75: Chris Ornstien

MD75: Roger Taylor

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