European Senior Championships in Manavgat
21 June 2018 - Photo: Heide Eisterlehner in action
The 8th edition of the European Senior Championships was held in Manavgat, Turkey, from 11 to 16 June, where the event was hosted by the Turkish Tennis Federation in association with Patricio Travel.
The event saw a total of 10 Top 5-ranked players in action across all age categories and resulted in several memorable wins. Germany’s Heide Eisterlehner posted arguably the biggest achievement of the weekend. Having won the Over 65 title in Mallorca in 2017, she dropped an age category to compete in the Over 60 competition in Antalya, emerging triumphant from a tough round-robin group to claim her 31st European title overall. Her biggest test came against Switzerland’s Karen Wolf, who was the only player to wrestle a set from one of the most respected competitors on the ITF Senior Circuit, taking the opener of their match on a tie break. The setback kicked Eisterlehner into top gear though, and the German did not concede another game in the remaining two sets.
In total, German players accounted for six of the thirteen singles titles, with Gerhard Fahlke (Men 40), Alexander Windisch (Men 50), Klaus Juergen Klein (Men 80), Christine Kraupa (Women 35) and Alena Klein (Women 70) joining Eisterlehner on the podium.
There were two titles for Austria with Clemens Weinhandl and Max Asen (Men 45 and 65 respectively) claiming gold medals, while Konstantinos Effraimoglou (GRE, Men 55), Iakov Atrokhov (RUS, Men 70), Levente Bakonyi (HUN; Men 75), Isabelle Bramhall (GBR, Women 45) and Jurate Hardy (LTU, Women 50) rounding off the list of champions.
Players and officials were extremely satisfied with the facilities on offer at the Ali Bey Resort, which enabled competitors to stay on site, with 50 tennis courts within walking distance of the hotel, one of the jewels in the crown of Patricio Travel’s array of tennis resorts.
One very special participant was the most ‘super’ of the super seniors, 94-year old Ukrainian Leonid Stanislavskyi, who proved that age is no barrier to enjoying the highest level of the sport. He played down three age categories to take part in the Men’s 80s event, as well as competing in the doubles and mixed competitions.
A regional closed (RC1) event, the European Senior Championships is Europe’s most prestigious tournament in terms of ranking points.