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World Masters Amateur Championships 2017

Jan 30, 2017
The 2017 World Masters Amateur Championships were held in Australia in January 2017.

This highly successful event attracted a record entry, up by 15% on the previous championships held in the UK in 2015, and included full US Over 50s and Over 70s US teams, a French Over 50s team and a World Over 60s team organised by the US Court Tennis Association comprising US, British and Australian players.

The Great Britain Over 50s team captained by Mark Openshaw-Blower, with new caps James Male, Penny Lumley, Peter Holmes and Richard MacAlister joining experienced campaigners David Watson, John Prenn, Simon Barker and Nick Jones, beat Australia 4-1 and the USA and France by 5-0 in Melbourne to retain the Cockram Trophy which has been held by Great Britain since 2008. In the win over Australia James Male produced an outstanding performance to beat Mike Happell 1/6 6/4 6/5.

Meanwhile in Ballarat, Australia Over 60s beat Great Britain 3-2 and the World Team 5-0 to reclaim the Bostwick Cup. The Great Britain team was made up exclusively of experienced performers who had previously played in the Cockram Trophy and the Bostwick Cup, but lost all three doubles rubbers to the World Team to finish in third place. This included a remarkable performance by the US pair of Steve Hufford and Peter Vogt who played in the Cockram in Melbourne in the morning and then took the train to Ballarat to win the first string doubles for the World Team in the Bostwick in the afternoon!

In Hobart, Australia Over 70s beat both Great Britain and the USA by 2 rubbers to 1 to reclaim the Danby Trophy and Great Britain beat the USA, also by the margin of 2-1, to finish in second place.

British players performed strongly in the individual singles and doubles events, winning 20 of the 36 available medals as follows:

  • Over 50 Singles: World Champion James Male
  • Over 50 Doubles: World Champion James Male
  • Over 55 Singles: Finalist David Watson
  • Over 55 Doubles: World Champion David Watson, Finalist Richard MacAlister
  • Over 60 Singles: World Champion John Prenn
  • Over 60 Doubles: World Champion John Prenn, Finalists Paul Weaver and Philip Shaw-Hamilton
  • Over 65 Singles: Finalist Paul Weaver
  • Over 65 Doubles: World Champions Paul Weaver and Philip Shaw-Hamilton
  • Over 70 Singles: World Champion John East
  • Over 70 Doubles: Finalists Simon de Halpert and Robin Barlow
  • Over 75 Singles: World Champion Robin Barlow, Finalist Michael Seymour
  • Over 75 Doubles: World Champions Paul Danby and David Bevan-Thomas, Finalist Michael Seymour

Congratulations go to all the British medal winners, with special mentions for James Male who was unbeaten in 2017 Masters team and individual events, John Prenn who won 7 of the 8 singles and doubles events he entered in 2015 and 2017, and David Watson, Paul Weaver, Philip Shaw-Hamilton, Robin Barlow and Paul Danby who all added to their long records of success in Masters events.

Thanks are due to tournament organiser Henry Turnbull and to all our hosts in Melbourne, Ballarat and Hobart – as usual the Australian tennis community provided a magnificent welcome to their British, US and French visitors.

David Bryant, a member of the Great Britain Over 60s team, was taken ill during an Overs 60 Doubles match and at the time of writing remains in hospital in Australia – our thoughts are with David and his family.

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