The biggest-ever edition of the European Senior Championships has drawn to a close in Pörtschach Austria, where 350 players have been in action across all age categories from Over 35 to Over 85.
The event attracted a strong line-up, with 5 current ITF Senior Circuit world #1s amongst the eventual 18 singles champions. Home players proved to be the stars of the men’s event, with 5 Austrian players lifting silverware. Amongst those was the Senior Circuit’s most celebrated male player, Peter Pokorny, who added the Men’s 75 to his incredible list of European titles, having conceded just nine games in four matches.
Meanwhile, Mario Haider-Maurer made an explosive debut on the ITF Senior Circuit to claim the Men’s 35 title without dropping a set. He was pushed to the limit against world #2 Luca Serena (ITA) in the first set of their final before eventually claiming a 7-6(9) 6-3 win. Clemens Weinhandl was another Austrian to win on home soil, successfully defending his Men’s 45 title, while Michael Maldoner claimed the Men’s 60 title and Heinz Gabernig took the 80s event.
If Austrian success was the story of the men’s event, German dominance was the tale of the ladies’ competition, with six players emerging victorious. Among them was 12-time Tennis Europe Senior Player of the Year Heidi Eisterlehner, who extended her winning record against second seeded German compatriot Sylvia Bauwens to 21-0 in the Over 70 final.
There were also several overseas winners at this first Open edition of the Championships – Australia’s Wayne Cowley claimed the Men’s 65 title, while Canada’s Taras Beyko took the Men’s 50. On the women’s side, world #1 Carolyn Nichols of the USA eased her way to the Over 60 title, losing just two games in three matches, while Shirley Whitaker (AUS) claimed the most senior of titles: the Over 85.
It was a successful trip to Europe for the players from other regions, who took full advantage of the opportunity to compete at back to back high-level events in Portschach. Nichols, Whitaker and Beyko also triumphed at the Grade A 36th ÖM Werzer Generali Kelag Trophy 2019 held the previous week.
Summarising the event, Tournament Director Gernot Dreier commented, “Overall, we are very happy with all aspects of the tournament. The weather has been great, the players were excellent both in terms of quality and quantity, and we enjoyed an excellent cooperation between the organising team and the local authorities and hotels. Personally, I am very happy that our team was assigned to continue with the organisation of such a prestigious event, and that we were able to host it at Werzer’s Arena in Pörtschach. I am already looking forward to welcoming everybody back for next year’s edition of the Championships.”
A list of the singles champions can be found below. For full draws and results, please visit the ITF website here. You can see a photo gallery from Pörtschach here.
2019 European Senior Championships
Men’s 35: Mario Haider-Maurer (AUT) d. Luca Serena (ITA) 7-6(9) 6-3
Men’s 45: Clemens Weindhandl (AUT) d. Petr Kovacka (CZE) 7-6(2) 6-4
Men’s 50: Taras Beyko (CAN) d. Michael Kocher (GER) 6-2 6-3
Men’s 55: Christian Greuter (GER) d. Manfred Hundstorfer (AUT) 6-3 6-4
Men’s 60: Michael Maldoner (AUT) d. Karl Pansy (AUT) 6-4 6-4
Men’s 65: Wayne Cowley (AUS) d. Harald Hellmonseder (AUT) 6-1 6-4
Men’s 70: Torsten Hansson (SWE) d. Mats Lilja (SWE) 4-6 7-6(8) 6-4
Men’s 75: Peter Pokorny (AUT) d. Klaus Kreuzhuber (AUT) 6-1 6-2
Men’s 80: Heinz Gabernig (AUT) d. Heinz Kleinemas (GER) 6-0 2-1 ret
Women’s 35: Christine Kraupa (GER) (Round-Robin event)
Women’s 40: Stefanie Kolar (GER) d. Kristine Quadflieg (GER) 6-1 6-2
Women’s 45: Susi Fortun Lohrmann (GER) d. Lucia Conde Vidal (ESP) 6-2 6-0
Women’s 60: Carolyn Nichols (USA) d. Karien Theeuwes (NED) 6-1 6-0
Women’s 65: Reinhilde Adams (GER) d. Monika Quirmbach (GER) 6-2 6-3
Women’s 70: Heidi Eisterlehner (GER) d. Sylvia Bauwens (GER) 6-3 6-2
Women’s 75: Michele Bichon (FRA) d. Heide Orth (GER) 7-6(3) 6-4
Women’s 80: Elisabeth van Boemmel (GER) d. Nanda Fischer (GER) 6-3 6-7(5) 10-5
Women’s 85: Shirley Whitaker (AUS) (Round-Robin event)