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Martha Downing’s team wins in Turkey

SHINGLE SPRINGS Martha Downing returned from playing in Turkey where her team won the Alice Marble Cup. Photo courtesy of Pat Parsons

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November 19, 2010 |

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — United States teams claimed six of the nine championship Cups at the 30th ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships hosted by Club Ali Bey Manavgat in Antalya, Turkey. The event is the senior tennis equivalent of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup team competitions, with the top American tennis players representing their country in the 60, 65, 70 and 75 age groups. In addition there also was a men’s 80-plus age group.

The United States had chances to claim all nine championship Cups as each of the U.S. teams reached the final in their respective age divisions. In the end, the Americans won three Cups in the men’s divisions, including the Von Cramm Cup (60 and over), the Britannia Cup (65 and over) and the Bitsy Grant Cup (75 and over); and three in the women’s division, including the Alice Marble Cup (60 and over), the Althea Gibson Cup (70 and over) and the Queens’ Cup (75 and over). The other three teams finished runners-up in the men’s Jack Crawford Cup and Gardner Mulloy Cup, and in the women’s Kitty Godfree Cup.

Former Millennium SportsClub Director of Tennis Martha Downing of Shingle Springs was one of the winners, joining teammates Brenda Carter, Carol Clay, and Kerry Young to bring home the Alice Marble Cup. It was Downing’s second trip to Turkey to play at Club Ali Bey Manavgat and the second time her team came away with the trophy.

Although still actively teaching and holding clinics here, Downing, who played tennis at Stanford University, stepped down from her position at Millennium to return to competitive tennis playing in the 50-59 Seniors division. In the spring of 2009 she began playing in the 60 and older division.

The strong showing improves upon the stellar results the American teams had last year, as they came into the 2010 tournament as the defending champions in two of the nine divisions (Britannia Cup and Bitsy Grant Cup) and finished in the top three in all nine divisions in 2009.

The ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships is the most prestigious team event on the ITF Seniors circuit. Since its inception in 1981, the number of competitors taking part in this event has increased each year. In 1993, the ITF made the decision to divide the Seniors World Championships into two groups — Seniors (35-55) and Super-Seniors (60-80 for men and 60-75 for women).

* Alice Marble Cup – Women’s 60 and over

1. Brenda Carter, Charleston, S.C.
2. Carol Clay, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Captain
3. Martha Downing, Shingle Springs, Calif.
4. Kerry Young, Maitland, Fla.

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