By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – The International Tennis Federation (ITF) Young Seniors World Team & Individual Championships 2019 has arrived in Miami Beach from October 19th through Saturday, November 2nd. This is the highest ranked event on the ITF Seniors Circuit for male and female players in the age categories of 35+, 40+ and 45+.
The tournament is held at Miami Beach Tennis Center (MBTC) at 501 72nd Street, where the W45, M45 competition is held, and the Flamingo Park Tennis Center (FPTC) at 1200 Meridian Avenue, where the M35, W35, W40, M40 matches are played.
Martin van Daalen and Lori Nieder, tournament directors of the ITF World Championships and the program directors at the Miami Beach Tennis Center, have had the goal of bringing back high level tennis to Miami Beach. For two years they have hosted the event and hope to bring it back in 2021 after it goes to Umag, Croatia in 2020.
Lori Nieder shared, “Miami Beach has a long history with tennis. The city hosted the Junior Orange Bowl for 51 years until 1999. Champions like Chrissy Evert, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe played on the courts at Flamingo Park.”
In August Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said in a press release, “For decades, passionate players from all of the world have made our world-renowned facilities their second home. Last year, we completed a significant renovation to the Miami Beach Tennis Center complete with updated fencing and new LED lights.”
Adding, “I’m excited to experience the high energy and quality matches that will once again take over the court.”
The ITF reports that the annual events attract players from all over the world including a string of former top-100 players, with former Roland Garros quarter-finalist Lina Krasnoroutskaya of Russia and Spain’s Daniel Munoz de la Nava, whose ATP career ranking peaked at No.68, among the 2019 field.
A total of 117 teams competed in the team competitions, with each World Team Championship tie consisted of two singles matches and one doubles match, with the round robins began on October 20th-22nd before the knockout rounds play out on October 23rd to 25th.
The individual World Championships run from October 26th through November 2nd, with singles, doubles and mixed doubles events as well as a consolation draw for singles first round losers. ITF Seniors Ranking points are available in all individual events.
According to the ITF, Spain’s Roberto Menendez Ferre returns seeking a fifth consecutive individual title, having collected three Men’s 40+ titles since leaving the 35+ division as champion in 2015. Markus Hilpert of the Netherlands could be defending three titles, having won the 45+ singles and doubles titles and the 40+ mixed in Miami a year ago.
Find out more about all the tennis players, schedule and locations on the official web site for the event. Also further details about the ITF can be found on their site, including team and individual ranking.
Over 1,400 matches will be played throughout the two weeks. Admission is free and play is from 8AM to 8PM each day at Flamingo Park Tennis Center and Miami Beach Tennis Center.