During the past two weeks, over 500 players representing a record 105 clubs have taken part in the region’s premier senior team tennis competition, the European Senior Club Championships.
Held at the Megasaray Club Belek in Antalya, Türkiye, the event has gone from strength to strength in recent years and saw some high drama as the teams – who travelled from a total of 16 countries - battled to win their clubs a prestigious European title. | 📷 Photo Gallery
Launched in 1983, the format of the competition features ‘best of three’ women’s ties (two singles and one doubles match) and ‘best of five’ men’s (three singles and two doubles - except in the Over 70s category).
Week 1 saw age groups 30+ to 50+ in action, and there were some notable participants on court as the club players relished the opportunity to take to the court against some experienced former top professionals.
Having reached the 45s final in 2018 and 2019, TC Valentin of Austria sent their big guns to the competition post-pandemic and successfully claimed the title last year. They were back again in force in 2023, defending the title with a 3-2 win over CT Barcino of Spain in the final.
The team included several former ATP stars, including Top 20 players Stefan Koubek and Bohdan Ulihrach, and former Top 15 doubles player Frantisek Cermak, all of whom said that they were pleased to have taken part in the event and enjoyed being able to compete in the warm November sun.
Team captain Anton Lausegger explained to us the importance of this event for his team and why the strong squad was eager to participate:
Elsewhere, TC Roehampton (GBR) picked up a first European title since 2010, claiming first place in their round-robin 30s competition over local team ATIK. The 35s crown went to Switzerland’s TC Bonmouth, who fielded a strong team featuring former pros Georges Bastl and Stephane Robert.
The Men’s 40s podium saw a reversal of last year’s result, as defending champions Mete Tenis Kulübü were pipped to the top spot by Italy’s TC San Vandemiano.
The Men’s 50s event saw new champions as last year’s winners Argayon TC of Belgium were deposed in the final 3-2 by home team Aydınlar Tenis Spor Kulübü.
The women’s competitions were every bit as competitive as the men’s, with brand new champions crowned in all age categories. Teams from the host nation did exceptionally well in the first week. There was an all-Turkish final in the 30s event, where local favourites Antalya Tenis Ihtisas ve Spor Kulubu beat the team from Sealra.
The defending 50s champions had to be content with a silver medal on this occasion as home team Zekeriyaköy Spor Külübü (TUR) edged Byfleet LTC (GBR) for the title.
The 35s event saw an upset in the final, where France’s ASM Tennis ended RCT Barcelona-1899’s hopes of defending their title with a 2-1 win. In the Over 40s, 2022 champions Hazlewood LTC (GBR) were beaten 3-0 in a rematch of last year’s final, ceding their crown to ASD Borgotrebbia (ITA).
The Ladies from Club Campo Villa de Madrid in Spain kept alive their feat of reaching a final every year since 2013, wrapping up a fourth title overall, and first in the Over 45s category, with a 2-1 win over Reuil Athletic Tennis Club of France.
Continuing with the ladies’ events, there was further success for home players as Zekeriyaköy Spor Kulübü became the first Turkish team to win a Womens 55 title, adding to their 50s title earned just days before. Their final match against CC Villa de Madrid left both clubs with the rare opportunity to win multiple European titles in the same year and it was the Turks who claimed the honours.
Byfleet LTC (GBR) made it home victorious for the third time in the last four editions of the ESCC, claiming the Womens 65+ event for the first time. There was further success for Great Britain in the Womens 70+ tournament, where The 45 Seniors Club beat Rivoli 2000 of Italy.
The second week saw double joy for Italian teams: ASD Country Time Club of Palermo beat Argayon of Belgium in the Men’s 55s final, while the Men’s 60s final was a repeat of last year’s decider, and produced the same result: Natisone ASD (ITA) defended their title with a win over TC Warmbach-Villach (AUT).
Stade Français Paris picked up its first ever European title in the Mens 65s, beating St. George’s Hill of Great Britain in the final.
Belgium’s TC Longchamps successfully defended the M70 crown, beating Levent Tenis Kulübü Derneği (TUR) into second place in their round-robin group.
The hosting Turkish Tennis Federation can be satisfied with the best-ever performance of clubs from the nation, as Türkiye secured four European titles and a further five runner-up spots. Italy also won four titles, with Great Britain in third place overall with three.
Full draws and results from the competition can be found here.
Men 30 & Over: Roehampton LTC (GBR) d. Antalya Tenis Ihtisas ve Spor Kulubu (TUR)
Men 35 & Over: TC Bonmont (SUI) d. Karayollari (TUR)
Men 40 & Over: TC VO San Vendemiano (ITA) d. Mete Tenis Kulübü (TUR)
Men 45 & Over: St. Valentin (AUT) d. CT Barcino (ESP)
Men 50 & Over: Aydınlar Tenis Spor Kulübü (TUR) d. Argayon TC (BEL)
Men 55 & Over: ASD Country Time Club (ITA) d. Argayon TC (BEL)
Men 60 & Over: Tennis Natisone ASD (ITA) d. TC Warmbach-Villach (AUT)
Men 65 & Over: Stade Français Paris (FRA) d. St. George’s Hill LTC (GBR)
Men 70 & Over: Longshamps LTC (BEL) d. Levent Tenis Kulübü Derneği (TUR)
Women 30 & Over: Antalya Tenis Ihtisas ve Spor Kulubu (TUR) d. Sealra 1 (TUR)
Women 35 & Over: ASM Tennis (FRA) d. Real Club de Tennis Barcelona-1899 (ESP)
Women 40 & Over: ASD Borgotrebbia (ITA) d. Hazelwood Sports Club (GBR)
Women 45 & Over: CC Villa de Madrid (ESP) d. Rueil Athletic Club (FRA)
Women 50 & Over: Zekeriyaköy Spor Külübü (TUR) d. Byfleet LTC (GBR)
Women 55 & Over: Zekeriyaköy Spor Külübü (TUR) d. CC Villa de Madrid (ESP)
Women 65 & Over: Byfleet LTC (GBR) d. Società Sportiva Valfontanabuona (ITA)
Women 70 & Over: The 45 Seniors Club (GBR) d. Tennis Rivoli 2000 (ITA)