Photo: OETVOpening Ceremony - 2013 Super-Seniors World Team Championships
POERTSCHACH, AUSTRIA & PROSTEJOV, CZECH REPUBLIC: The 2013 Super-Seniors World Team Championships gets underway on Monday, featuring 153 teams from 27 countries.
It is the first time that Austria and Czech Republic have jointly organised the World Team Championships with two cups being played at Prostejov in Czech Republic and eight cups being staged in the region of Carinthia in Austria, in the towns of Klagenfurt, Poertschach and Villach.
It’s the first time that Czech Republic have hosted the Super-Seniors World Team Championships, whereas the competition returns to Austria for the first time since 2002, when the World Individual Championships were held in Velden and the team cups took place in various venues all over the country.
USA will be looking to defend the seven titles that they captured in Croatia last year. The USA's Von Cramm Cup team led by Larry Turville will aim to win the title for the fourth year in a row and it looks like last year’s finalists France, led by World Individual Champion in the men’s 60, Bruno Renoult, might again be the team to beat in order to claim that title.
The USA's Alice Marble Cup team also has a chance to make it four titles in a row. The team will be relying on a good performance from Tina Karwasky, who won the women’s singles and doubles titles in 2012.
USA's Bitsy Grant Cup team has the most impressive record to defend. They have won the title five times in a row and their captain Fred Farzaneghan will be counting on his No. 1 player Lester Sack as well as nine-time World Individual Champion King van Nostrand to try to make it six in a row and secure their first victory on Czech soil.
The Czech hopes for a medal lie with their men’s 75 team, which is led by last year’s men's 75 World Individual Champion, Frantisek Cech. The team will be hoping to improve on their bronze medal performance from last year.
Austria’s home crowds will be cheering on the Jack Crawford Cup team in the Werzer arena in Poertschach and hoping they can successfully defend the title they won last year.
France in the Kitty Godfree Cup and Canada in the Doris Hart Cup are the two other countries that won a title in last year’s events. Gail Benedetti is returning as defending World Individual Champion and Nicole Hesse Cazaux's move into the women’s 65 age group makes France look even stronger than in 2012.
The Doris Hart Cup promises some interesting ties as new players move up to the age group. Canada has won the first two editions of the competition and the team, which includes Rosemarie Asch and Muffie Grieve, will do everything they can to make it a third consecutive success.