Umag, Croatia – Two of South Africa’s top Young Senior tennis players Lettica Venter and Bruce Young proved that one gets better with age when they won the coveted 45+ Tennis World Championships mixed doubles title in Croatia this past week. They went one better in this World Championships having reached the final of the same tournament last year.
Venter and Young both from Kwa-Zulu Natal won the gold medal in Umag, when they beat Liselot Prechtel and Sander Groen of Netherlands, 6-4 6-2 in the final.
Young of Hillcrest also teamed up with fellow South African Robert Dick of Western Province to reach the men’s doubles semi-final where they won the bronze medal.
Venter from Ballito also reached the women’s singles semi-final of the same tournament.
“We are very happy that we eventually won the title. I am relieved that all our hard work paid off and we could overcome our injuries in time to be ready for the tournament” said Venter.
Young and Venter teamed up together in their first tournament back in 2011. Since then the two play most tournaments together and are very comfortable with each other’s game on the court.
“I feel that we combine well together and we always joke that Bruce is the touch and I am the power” said Venter.
Young said that the World Championships were of a very high standard. “Only the best enter and this year was no exception. We are unfortunately not used to play on the clay and it is definitely not a surface that we both feel comfortable on. However we adapted and enjoyed the tournament although it was quite nerve wrecking at times – especially in the finals”
Venter added that their opponents in the final were experienced players. “Sander Groen still plays ATP doubles tournaments. He has a long history that includes Federer as his doubles partner. He was a difficult opponent and being left-handed made things a bit more tricky for me. He tried hard to intimidate us and we had to focus on trying to isolate his partner Lisa Preshtel. She stood her ground well and it was not easy to brake their serves.”
I feel we both pulled through at the right times and are so grateful to have won this title. It was an awesome experience. Thank you to my partner – it was a real team effort!