SAN DIEGO, USA: Seven singles and seven doubles titles were decided today at the ITF Seniors World Individual Championships in San Diego.
Spain did the double in the 35 singles events, as Noelia Perez won her second world singles title and Roberto Menendez claimed his first. Menendez withstood a determined second set fightback from 2009 world champion Beniamin Budziak (POL) to win 63 75 in front of a capacity centre court crowd, while Perez defeated American Kelly Pace Wilson 64 63. Budziak has now won medals of three different colours at the last three world championships.
The women’s 40s final was a one-sided affair, as third seeded Australian Jurate Hardy won her first world singles title in style by beating second seed Isabelle Tyrrell 60 62. The women’s 45s final also featured a first time winner as Jennifer Dawson (USA) upset top seed and six time world champion Klaartje van Baarle (BEL) 64 63. The men’s 45s was won by another American, Jeff Greenwald, who overcame his compatriot Carl Clark 61 64 to win his second world singles title and his first since 2001.
Another all-American final took place in the women’s 50 singles, as Rosalyn Nideffer beat defending champion Fran Chandler 63 75. And USA claimed a fourth singles title in the women’s 55s, when Diane Barker repeated her 2010 final victory over Brazil’s Patricia Medrado, winning 61 63 for her fifth world championship singles win.
USA has a chance to claim a further three singles wins tomorrow, as there is American representation in the men’s 40, 50 and 55 finals. Jeff Tarango, seeded second, booked his place in the final with a 62 64 win over unseeded Australian Michael Evans. He will meet Dutchman Marcus Hilpert in the final, a 62 75 winner over top seed Taras Beyko (CAN). The men’s 50s final will be a battle between US Fred Perry Cup teammates and doubles partners Mike Fedderly and Val Wilder, seeded three and four respectively. The pair have met 15 times on the ITF Seniors Circuit and Wilder has a 12-3 head to head lead. Wilder came from behind today to beat fellow American Mike Tammen 67 62 62, while Fedderly knocked out ninth seeded Frenchman Philippe Kahlouche in straight sets. Wilder will be going for his fourth world championships singles win tomorrow, while Fedderly will be looking for a first singles win to add to his eight doubles titles. After their final, the pair will team up to fight for the 50s doubles crown.
Mark Vines will start as hot favourite to win the men’s 55 singles title tomorrow, after yet another one-sided win in the semis today. Vines defeated 12th seed Peter Hampton (NZL) 60 60 and has lost just seven games in six matches on his way to the final. His opponent will be Great Britain’s Paul French, the 11th seed, who beat seventh seed Andrew Rae (AUS) 62 64.
The men’s 35 doubles title was won by the surprise packages of the tournament, Australian brothers Greg and Michael Evans, who beat Finnish pair Tapio Nurminen and Ilkka Riikonen 46 64 63. US pair Rick Leach and Mickey Maule, the second seeds, upset top seeded compatriots Ellis Ferreira and Roger Mills 61 57 75 in the men’s 40 doubles final, while Deborah Higa and Jami Jones won the women’s 40s with a 63 76 victory over Jennifer Lyons and Julie Shapiro in another all-American final. The 40 mixed doubles was yet another all-US affair, and Rick Leach made it two tight wins out of two as he partnered Tracie Currie to a match tiebreak win over Gretchen Magers and Jeff Tarango.
Americans also dominated the women’s 45 doubles event, top seeds Alissa Finerman and Erika Smith winning the title 64 62 over Gretchen Magers and Rosalyn Nideffer, seeded second.
One rare final without an American presence today was the women’s 50 doubles. The Australian combination of Ros Balodis and Leanne Swaysland took the title with a 46 75 60 win over British-Australian pairing Christine French and Brenda Foster.
The women’s 55 doubles was won by the US pairing of Susan Wright and Kathy May Fritz, the top seeds. They had a comprehensive 61 61 win over fellow Americans Mary Ginnard and Tina Karwasky, seeded fourth.
The remaining three singles and eight doubles finals will be played tomorrow at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.