Photo: Srdjan StevanovicUSA, 2013 Maureen Connolly Cup winners
The 2014 ITF Seniors World Team Championships get underway in Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton, Florida, USA, on Monday, with 194 teams representing 38 countries competing in 10 age categories.
The American teams will be hoping to make home advantage count and re-instate their superiority over the European teams who have dominated the competition in recent years.
Last year the USA teams won the Maria Esther Bueno Cup (women’s 50) and the Maureen Connolly Cup (women’s 55), and as well as aiming to retain those titles the home side will have high hopes of adding more silverware.
The Dubler Cup (men’s 45), featuring former ATP player Jeff Tarango and former seniors world individual champion Mario Tabares, and the Austria Cup (men’s 55), with the last two world individual champions Dan Waldman and Mark Vines, are events which could see home success.
European teams have dominated the younger age categories recently and this looks set to continue in 2014. The Italia Cup (men’s 35) has featured France and Spain in the final for the last two years, and both countries have named strong teams again this time. They could face a strong challenge from a Swiss side which includes former ATP players Michel Kratochvil, Ivo Heuberger and Yves Allegro.
France and Spain also claimed silverware in 2013 in the Dubler Cup and Young Cup (women’s 40) respectively, and will be aiming to defend those titles this year.
Great Britain won two cups last year, the Suzanne Lenglen (women’s 35) and the Austria Cup, while the Netherlands is aiming to defend the Tony Trabert Cup (men’s 40) which it won in 2013 to end a three-year winning streak by the French team.
Italy was also a somewhat surprising winner of the Fred Perry Cup (men’s 50) in 2013, and the Italians are serious about defending their crown. The addition of reigning world individual champion Alessio Frontespezi to the team has made them even stronger this year.
In contrast, the Margaret Court Cup (women’s 45) will have a new winner as Belgium is not defending its title. Teams likely to be able to step up to the challenge include France and USA.
Results and reports will be available daily.