Rain severely disrupted Friday’s schedule at the Seniors World Championships in Turkey, with some semifinal matches left unfinished and several dramatic encounters under the floodlights.
In one of the last matches to be finished, the ninth-seeded Italian team made it through to the final of the Fred Perry Cup (men’s 50) with a tense doubles win over fourth seeds Austria.
Viljo Tanganelli, who has turned out to be Italy’s star player this week, got the Italians off to a winning start by beating Karl Pansy 61 63, but multiple world champion Manfred Hundstorfer levelled the tie with a 64 62 win over Italian No. 1 Fernando Cavalleri. The stage was set for a dramatic doubles and so it proved, Cavalleri and Tanganelli eventually prevailing in two tiebreaks over Hundstorfer and Martin Roch. Their final opponents are yet to be decided, with France and Spain still battling it out in the other semi.
There was a lot of frustration for the French teams as several others were also involved in ties that had to be carried over until Saturday. In the Italia Cup (men’s 35), second seeds France were locked at 1-1 with seventh seeds Germany after the singles, while in the Tony Trabert Cup (men’s 40) the top-seeded French managed to win the first set of the deciding doubles, also against Germany, before play was called off for the day.
In both cases the other semifinal was decided quickly, Spain winning both singles matches against Italy in the Italia Cup and Netherlands dropping just three games to Great Britain in their two singles matches in the Tony Trabert Cup. In the women’s events, France and Belgium stand at 1-1 after the singles in the Margaret Court Cup (women’s 45), with the winner to play either Germany or South Africa.
French teams did manage to make the final in some cups, however, as the Dubler Cup (men’s 45) team had a straightforward 2-0 win over Great Britain. They will face USA in Saturday’s final after the Americans came from behind to defeat defending champions Italy, Jeff Tarango and Mario Tabares clinching victory in the deciding doubles against Giovanni Lelli Mami and Antonio Padovani. The French team in the Maria Esther Bueno Cup (women’s 50) also came through their semifinal before the rain came, also defeating Italy. Their final opponents will be top seeds USA who needed a deciding doubles to beat Czech Republic.
Only one finalist was decided in the Austria Cup (men’s 55) as third seeds Great Britain beat second seeds Spain 2-1. They await either USA or Germany in the final, with the tie standing at 1-1 after the singles. Great Britain also made the final of the Maureen Connolly Cup (women’s 55) after defeating France 2-0. Their final opponents will be top seeds and defending champions USA, who also came through their semifinal 2-0, against Australia.
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Saturday will be a busy day with all 10 finals scheduled. Live scoring for all finals will be available here.