As they say in the classics, the older you get the better you get and how true that was for the South African Women 70 years and older tennis team.

The team comprising of Petro Kruger (Boland), Elmarie Lategan (Eden), Mave Samuels (Western Province) and Danilla Whelpton (Gauteng North) finished in an impressive fourth position in the Althea Gibson Cup played in the ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships which finished over the weekend in Umag, Croatia.

The championships had 112 teams from 27 countries competing in four age categories from 65-and-over to 80-and-over.

South Africa entered 6 teams in the championships.

The South Africa Women 70 yrs. plus performed best of all at the weeklong event. In round one unseeded South Africa upset top seeds France 4-2 and reached the semi-finals where they lost to third seeded Great Britain 1-2.

In the play-off for 3 and 4 place Germany beat South Africa 2-0.

The other South African team results were as follows;

GARDNAR MULLOY CUP Men 80 + Ended   7th out of 12 teams
BITSY GRANT CUP Men 75 + Ended 10th out of 18 teams
JACK CRAWFORD CUP Men 70 + Ended 12th out of 18 teams
BRITTANIA CUP Men 65 + Ended 14th out of 20 teams
QUEENS CUP Women 75 + Ended   6th out of   8 teams


The South African players now participate in the ITF Super-Seniors World Individual Championships also taking place in Umag, Croatia on this week with the finals scheduled for 25 September.

Petro Kruger will be defending her Women’s Doubles 70 + title.

The ITF Young Seniors, Seniors and Super-Seniors World Team and Individual Championships are the premier events on the ITF Seniors Circuit. Players aged from 35-and-over to 45-and-over compete in the Young Seniors Championships, from 50-and-over to 60-and-over in the Seniors Championships, and from 65-and-over to 85-and-over compete in the Super-Seniors Championships. Starting with one team trophy in 1958, and four individual events in 1981, the competitions have grown to offer a total of 72 World Championship titles each year to teams, and in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.