Newman, competing on the Womens 50 team, joins 39 other Unites States Tennis Association (USTA) professionals from around the country in the International Tennis Federations’ Seniors World Championship. The two week competition began Sunday, April 20 and continues through May 4, with team competition taking place the first week and an individual tournament the second week.
Talking with Newman before she left for the tournament, the excitement she felt at the upcoming event was obvious.
“I’m thrilled to be returning to the tournament,” Newman said. “It’s so exciting to have an opportunity to work with, and watch play, so many amazing tennis players and people. I can’t wait.”
Newman is the tennis pro at La Madrona Athletic Club, located between the cites of Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley. She divides her time between the club and competing in official USTA tournaments.
“The annual [ITF Senior Tennis] tournament is filled with the top players in our age group in the country,” Newman said. “All of us earned our place on the teams, and it’s an honor to be named to the team and to play for our country.”
One of the people Newman is exited to see play is 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang, competing on the Mens 40 team. Chang still holds the record for the youngest male to win a Grand Slam singles championship, reached the finals in three more and won 34 tournaments in his career on the ATP tour. His highest ranking was achieved in 1996, when he became the No. 2 player in the world. He officially retired from the ATP tour in 2003 and is now coaching and playing the senior circuit.
“Players like Michael and Jeffery [Tarango] are just part of the excitement of being a part of such an amazing event.” Newman said.
The tournament consists of five men’s and five women’s teams of four players each: Mens and Womens 35 (age 35 and older), 40, 45, 50 and 55. The 40 Americans are among around 1,000 players from 39 countries, including teams competing for the first time from China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Haiti and Venezuela. The United States has won the Maureen Connolly Cup (Women 55) seven straight years.
The U.S. will also be defending the Maria Esther Bueno Cup, which Newman’s teammate, sometime doubles partner and childhood opponent Tracy Houk (Montaro, CA) helped secure in 2013.
Newman and Houk have been joined by Fran Chandler (Jackson, TN) and Vicki Vasiek Buholz (Dallas) as the Womens 50 team goes for a repeat.
“It’s fun playing with Tracy at such a high level,” Newman said. “We’ve known each other so long. But we have a challenge ahead of us. The French team in particular will be a tough challenge.”
Newman’s competed on the 2012 Women 45 team, which did not reach the finals, and is hoping this year will bring a better result.
“Everyone has to prove themselves every year,” she said. “The four of us proved ourselves to the USTA, now we have to prove ourselves to the world.”
TEPES, MarkMens 40
QUEST, WilliamMens 45
HERNANDEZ, Art Mens 50
GARVIN, Gee Gee
BOLOTOVA, YuliaWomens 40
. WOORONS-JOHNSTON, Sophie .
MCKENNA, VesnaWomens 45
FINERMAN, Alissa Womens 50
Follow the ITF Senior World Championship at www.itfseniorsworldchampionships2014.comFor more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, “like” the official Facebook page, facebook.com/usta, or follow @usta on Twitter.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level, from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 750,000 members, it invests 100 percent of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games.