Photo: Juan Ocampo2012 Margaret Court Winners Ireland
Play got underway today at the Seniors World Team Championships in Antalya, Turkey with some engaging encounters and several surprise results.
The biggest upset of the day took place in the Margaret Court Cup (women’s 45), when defending champions and third seeds Ireland lost 3-0 to Austria. Fourth seeds Great Britain, another nation not always at home on clay courts, were also defeated today, losing both singles to Spain before salvaging a rubber in the doubles. The other seeds in action in the Margaret Court Cup, second seeds USA, fifth seeds South Africa, sixth seeds Germany and seventh seeds Belgium, all scored victories.
None of the other top seeded teams lost today in the women’s events, although most cups did see at least one upset. Germany had a disappointing day, losing to Argentina in the Maureen Connolly Cup (women’s 55) and to South Africa in the Maria Esther Bueno Cup (women’s 50), in which they were seeded sixth and eighth respectively.
In the Suzanne Lenglen Cup (women’s 35), fifth-seeded South Africa lost to Switzerland while sixth seeds Estonia were defeated 3-0 by Latvia. The top two seeds did not play today but USA, seeded three, and Germany, seeded four, both came through their first tests easily.
No seeded teams played today in the Young Cup (women’s 40), and none of the ties went to a live doubles as Germany, Switzerland, Canada and Argentina all registered victories.
The men’s events also saw a surprising number of upsets for a world championships first day. In the Italia Cup (men’s 35), last year’s fourth place finishers Estonia, seeded six, lost 2-1 to Netherlands. This cup also saw an epic encounter between Poland and Sweden, both unseeded. All three rubbers went to three sets and the tie was eventually decided in the doubles when Nicklas Timfjord and Magnus Hedlund beat Beniamin Budziak and Jakub Ulczynski 6-4 in the third set.
The Tony Trabert Cup (men’s 40) saw sixth seeds Czech Republic go down 3-0 to Austria and eighth seeds Great Britain lose 2-1 to Romania. Top seeds and defending champions France were not in action but second seeds USA, third seeds Netherlands and fourth seeds Spain had straightforward victories over Ireland, Bulgaria and New Zealand respectively.
The top seeds did not play in the Dubler Cup (men’s 45) but the lower seeds had some very tight encounters before all eventually prevailed. Sixth seeds Spain needed a deciding doubles to overcome Sweden, while seventh seeds Netherlands had two epic singles encounters to beat Australia. Andre de Mos beat Chris O’Mara 67 63 75 and Niels de Kok defeated Garry Nadebaum 67 62 64 before the Dutch players retired during the doubles.
There were no upsets in the Fred Perry Cup (men’s 50) either. The only seeds in action were seventh seeds Germany eighth seeds Sweden, ninth seeds Italy and 10th seeds South Africa, all of whom sealed victory with wins in their two singles rubbers.
Similarly, the Austria Cup (men’s 55) saw only the lower seeded teams begin their campaigns although two of these did fall today. Seventh seeds Netherlands went down in a deciding doubles against South Africa and Canada, seeded eight, also fell 2-1 to Belgium after Ralph Bohn and Marc Grandjean beat Robert Bettauer and John Picken in the doubles.
The round-robin format means that no teams are out of contention yet, however, and day two will no doubt see plenty of exciting action on the courts of Club Ali Bey Manavgat. Live scoring from the Suzanne Lenglen Cup and Maria Esther Bueno Cup can be found here