400 participants from 32 countries, 752 matches in 85 (!) competitions - not just the figures are record-breaking in this popular ITF Seniors tournament on the Turkish Riviera: the tennis players from around the world showed that they can celebrate and create good mood at the opening ceremony on center court in Manavgat.
Great atmosphere during the opening ceremony There was a great atmosphere at the tournament opening ceremony. The Center Court of Ali Bey Club Manavgat saw its first highlight: Freddie Mercury raised his voice from large loudspeakers and the audience went wild. "We will rock you", was played loud in the stadium and it sounded like the motto for this year´s 12th International Wilson Seniors Open. A photo drone captured the enthusiasm of the nearly 400 participants of this largest seniors tournament: ovations the audience celebrated with rhythmic clapping, V-signs and standing ovations at the opening of this unique ITF event in Manavgat/Turkey.
High class tennis on the Center Court as well as players from Russia, Lithuania, New Zealand and Spain. High class tennis could be seen on the center court from Ukraine and Iran. They all signed in to fight for ITF points, hospitality money and non-cash prizes. Thorsten Thiele has been responsible for many years for the smooth running of the tournament and the divided the male participants into the age groups between 35 and 80 years and the females into 35 to 75 years. A total of 19 events were played in the singles.In her opening speech tournament director Sabine Schmitz from Germany delivered the numerical evidence of the international character of the tournament: 752 matches on more than 40 courts, tennis players from 32 nations took part in this twelfth edition of the tournament. Most players came again from Germany and Austria,
Also the Turkish Dance Ensemble showed that the Wilson Senior Open 2015 this year were exceptional. An extremely vital senior couple danced on the center court. The tournament was played on more than 40 out of 76 courts: On the first day of the tournament almost 140 matches were played - for two reasons: First, the weather was great from the first to the last day of the tournament. The large pool was heated for the first time in 2015 and every day was sunny with about 20 degrees. The ideal temperatures were also helpful before and after the matches because there are short ways within the Ali Bey Club Manavgat resort: the heated pool, to the beach or the newly opened "Irish Pub" in the evening - for many participants these are the main motives to travel annually to this popular seniors tournament with Patricio Travel. The holiday feeling at this spring meeting in Manavgat cannot be compared with any other event.
Thorsten Thiele (on top) and his team The second reason for an almost perfect tournament sequence is the tournament organization: The team has been led by referee Thorsten Thiele and ITF consultant Steve Longworth for years. They are supported by six team members, who all play tennis themselves, and 12 umpires. This year a consolation could be played in the doubles and mixed doubles for the first time. A total of 85 winners were determined at the Wilson Senior Open: Additionally to the 19 singles and 23 doubles events, 16 singles and 7 doubles consolation competitions were played and rounded up by 20 B round categories. In other words: This tournament is not only a "must" for all top players, but also an attractive event for tournament players with few ITF points. Even those who lose in the first rounds in singles and doubles, have at least another three to four matches. Early eliminations do not necessarily mean that you don´t get match practice any more. On the contrary, in Manavgat the tennis week ends for most of the players not before the final day.
The Wilson Seniors Open had been the best meeting place for many years for the top players of the scene. This year ten no.1 players of their respective age groups took part. With Gerhard Fahlke from Germany, Taras Beyko from Canada, Manfred Hundstorfer from Austria and Glenn Busby from Australia even all top players of the mens 35 to 55 were present. And yet another figure is impressive: A total of 35 top 10 players were in Manavgat. This is what made the first-class matches really exciting.
festively atmosphere at the Player´s Night the Players Night also on Wednesday with music, dance and Turkish buffet, and the big prize giving ceremony on the stage of Ali Bey Club on Saturday evening. Here, tournament director Sabine Schmitz resumed the positive aspects: A total of 752 matches were played with only one match being 15 minutes late - also another record. When asked where her favorite place was during the tournament week, the tournament director, who took part in the tournament herself in the womens 55 and reached the semi-final, answered: "I prefer sitting in the tennis-cafe with friends and enjoy the great tournament atmosphere with guests from all over the world." She shared this tip with many tennis players, because the tennis cafe next to the center court and the Wilson & adidas shop was well attended. It became the heart of this great tournament for one week.The International Wilson Seniors Open also offered an interesting off-court social program with numerous highlights: the opening ceremony on Monday with a show act and the welcome party afterwards, the show matches of world champions on Wednesday on the center court,
Womens 35: Ana Salas-Lozano (ESP), who won the Young Seniors Individual World Championships at Ali Bey Club Manavgat in the women´s 40 at the end of March and who is currently ranked no. 1 in the world in her age category, joined the Wilson Seniors Open in the womens 35. Here the Spaniard was top seeded favorite and won easily in the tournament. On her way to the final she never lost more than 2 games to her opponents and won the final with 6: 0, 6: 1 against Elena Belopolskaya (RUS). During the tournament week, Ana Salas-Lozano presented her skills in in the mixed exhibition match on Wednesday. She teamed up with Manfred Hundstorfer from Austria.
Womens 40: The age category was played in two round-robins with 6 participants. Sylva Himper (CZE) emerged as the winner from group A. In group B Egle Jurkeviciene (LTU) won. The two women played in the final, which was won by the unseeded player from the Czech Republic with 6:1, 6:1.
Womens 45: 20 players competed in a 32 main draw. Natalia Harina-Beckmann (GER), ranked no. 8 in the world was the top seeded player. She reached the final easily where she met Lucie Schwab (AUT) . The Austrian player won in the womens doubles at the Young Seniors World Championships in March together with Karim Strohmeier-Merino (PER) after an injury lay-off. In the Wilson Seniors Open Schwab defeated no. 2 seeded Karola Thumm (GER) 6:4 and 7: 5 and later claimed the title of the womens 45 in the final against Harina-Beckmann with 6: 4 and 6: 1.
Womens 50: Last year´s winner of the womens 45 Christina Wolf competed in the womens 50 for the first time this year and was second seeded. On her way into the final she only lost one game in the semi-final. In the final the German player met top favorite Liselot Prechtel (NED). Christina Wolf clearly won again with 6:1 and 6:3.
Womens 55: The first-class main draw with 20 players starring no. 1 and no. 4 in the world, Christine French (GBR) and Barbora Koutna (CZE) were the top seeded favorites. Koutna won the Wilson Seniors Open in women 50 in 2014. Tournament Director and last year´s finalist Sabine Schmitz was seeded no. 3. She lost in the semi-final the strong player Koutna with 6:0 and 6:1. French lost only one game against Gabriele Seubert (GER)  on her way into the final. French won the final in two straight sets against Barbora Koutna with 6:0 and 6:4.
Womens 60: Second seeded Heide Fröysok (GER) was already defeated in the quarterfinal by player representative Radomila Martinicova (CZE)  in three sets. The final was played by no. 2 ranked Encarnation Gomis Ruiz (ESP) and Dagmar Sperneder (AUT) , who defeated Martinicova in the semi-final in three sets 6:2, 2:6 and 6:3. In the final, the Spaniard won with 7:5 and 6:2 against the Austrian player.
Womens 65: In the womens 65, all four set favorites were able to prevail. The final saw the two top favorites Heidi Eisterlehner (GER), no. 1 in the world and Sylvia Bauwens (GER), no. 4 in the world. In the German final Heidi Eisterlehner won smoothly with 6:3 and 6:1.
Womens 70: This was also a top-class womens main draw. Among other top players, the current no. 1, no. 2 and no. 6 in the world competed against each other. Last year´s winner Zsofia Garaguly (AUT)  and no. 6 in the world had to retire in the semi-final against no. 1 Ellie Krocke (NED) , when the score was 0:2. After Heide Orth (GER) , currently no. 2 in the world had won against Susy Burggraf (SUI)  6:2 and 6:3 in the semi-final, the two top players met in the final. Krocke finally defeated Heide Orth 6:2 and 6:3.
Womens 75: Just like the category of women 40, the oldest womens category 75 was played in two round-robins with 6 participants. The respective seeded players were successful in their groups against their opponents. Elisabeth van Bömmel (GER) , current no. 2 in the world and Irmgard Gerlatzka (GER) , current no. 8 of the world made it into the final. Last year´s winner Elisabeth van Bömmel was not able to defend her title and lost 3:6 and 2:6. In the age group womens75 also the oldest player of the tournament took part. Erzebet Szentirmay from Hungary who is ranked no. 2 in the womens 85 competed. But she could not prevail against her much younger opponents Ida Ehrat and Irmgard Gerlatzka.
Mens 35: The newly crowned Young Seniors World Champion in mens 35 and current no. 1 Roberto Menendez Ferre (ESP) participated for the first time in the Int. Wilson Seniors Open. The top seeded player defeated his opponents effortlessly and met the last year´s winner Farhad Sane (IRI)  in the final. The Spaniard defeated the Iranian with 6:2 and 6:2. Thus, the age group 35 was won by participants from Spain both in the womens and in the mens singles. In both categories, the reigning world champion competed against their opponents and defended their position. In the exhibition match on Wednesday, Roberto Menendez Ferre demonstrated his skills in the mens singles match against Gerhard Fahlke (GER) from the mens 40s.
Mens 40: The top four favorites all made it into the semi-finals. Gerhard Fahlke (GER) , current no. 1 of the mens 40s and last year´s winner of the Wilson Seniors Open lost in the semi-final against last year’s finalist Ivan Herz (SVK)  in a thrilling three-set match with 6:2, 1:6 and 3:6. Herz won the final against the Romanian Sorin Donescu  smoothly 6:1 and 6:1.
Mens 45: In the 32 main draw all seeded favorites reached to the semifinals. After Massimo Cudini (ITA) , current no. 7 in the mens 45 was defeated in the semifinal by Taraschi Kikalischvili (RUS)  3: 6 and 6:7 (1), the final was between the Russian and the current no. 1 from Canada, Taras Beyko . Beyko was successful and won the tournament with 6:0 and 6:2.
Mens 50: Manfred Hundstorfer (AUT) , player representative, was another current no. 1 player in the tournament. He fought hard in a long three-set match 6:3, 2:6, 6:3 against his fellow player representative from Russia, Alexey Karpenko  in the semi-final. Hundstorfer teamed up with Ana Salas-Lozano in the mixed exhibition match. Despite an injury, he won the semi-final, but lost in the final against Frank Etzold (ISR) . He had to retire when the score was 0:4. The victory went to the Israeli, who took part in the Wilson Seniors Open for the first time and who is currently ranked no. 9 in the mens 50.
Mens 55: The large 64er mens 55 main draw was a top class category. Four top 10 players of the world ranking list competed against each other. Glenn Busby (AUS), current no. 1, Norbert Henn (GER), current no. 2, Pierre Godfroid (BEL), current no. 4 and Karl Pansy (AUT), currently no. 6 played a mini World Cup. Pierre Godfroid  was surprisingly eliminated in the quarterfinal by the Spaniard Javier Molina Ramos in 3 sets 6:4, 4:6 and 1:6. The semi-final between Glenn Busby  and Karl Pansy  was not played because Pansy could not compete. The two top players of their age group met in the final. Norbert Henn (GER) , who had defeated his opponents with 6:1 or 6:0 before, had no chance against Busby from Australia and lost 0:6 and 2:6.
Mens 60: In this age group, another Australian was represented as a top favorite. Andrew Rae , a regular guest of the Wilson Open, is currently ranked no. 2 in the world. Rae and Harald Hellmonseder (AUT) , current no. 8, met in the final for several years in a row. This year, they met each other already in the semi-finals, which was won by the Australian in three sets 2:6, 6:4 and 6:4. Andrew Rae also played in the men´s doubles show match together with his fellow country man Glenn Busby against Mark Hadley (NZL) and Peter Pokorny (AUT). Javier Lazcano Hernandez (ESP)  and current No. 3 in the world rankings had to retire in the- semifinal against Albert Grimm (AUT)  when the score was 6:3 and 3:6. The final between Andrew Rae and last year´s finalist Frits Raijmakers (NED)  was a thrilling match. After three long sets the final score was 4:6, 7:5 and 6:4 for Rae.
Mens 65: There was a surprise right at the start of the tournament in the age group of the mens 65. The top-seeded German player Gerd Dahmen , current no. 8 in the world rankings lost his first match against unseeded Helmut Flagel (AUT). The Austrian continued his triumphal procession to the semi-final. There he met player representative Horst-Dieter van de Loo (GER)  and was defeated 4:6 and 2:6. Alfred Böckl (GER) , current no. 6 in the world, easily reached the final and defeated Niall Sweeney (GBR)  6:2 and 6:2 in the semi-final. The victory of the all-German final went to Alfred Böckl 7:6 (8) and 6:3.
Mens 70: The four favorites reached the semi-finals as expected. Among them the current no. 3 and no. 4 players in the world Johannes Mühlenburg (AUT)  and Petr Kolacek (SUI)  participated. Mühlenburg was defeated in a three-set match by Levente Bakonyi  from Hungary with 6:4, 3:6 and 5:7. In the final, Bakonyi lost against the strong Swiss player and tournament champion Petr Kolacek 6:0 and 6:0.
Mens 75: With 24 players this age group could be played in a 32 main draw. Top favorite was again many times world champion Peter Pokorny (AUT) , currently no. 2 in the world. From the quarter finals on, Pokorny always won 6:0, 6:0. His opponents had no chance against him. The Finn Pekka Olkkonen  was eliminated by Heinrich Brandt (GER)  in the quarterfinal. Later, the German was defeated in the semi-final by Cay Sollin  from Sweden. The other two seeded favorites Werner Schlereth (GER)  and Rolf Willrich (GER)  lost against their opponents in the second round or in the quarter-finals.
Mens 80: 5 participants competed in the oldest age group of Wilson Seniors Open in a round-robin. The top favorite and current no. 1 in the world rankings Herbert Althaus (GER) clearly won and was followed by Günter Schwellnus (GER) . The other participants in the mens 80s were Ludwig Hofer (AUT), Ladislav Vysocky (CZE) and Kaya Karamehmet (TUR).
Please note the following date: International Wilson Seniors Open 2016: 03. – 10. April 2016
Patricio Travel Events 2015
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