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Midwest Pair Named to The 2013 ITF/USTA US Senior World Cup Teams

March 14, 2013 01:31 PM
Gabriel Venter- Blue Ash, OH
Anna Zimmerman- Indianapolis, IN

The USTA/Midwest Section is proud to announce that Anna Zimmerman, Indianapolis, IN and Gabriel Venter, Blue Ash, OH, are two of 40 players who will represent the United States at the 32nd ITF Seniors World Team Championships. The event takes place March 18-23 in Antalya, Turkey, and includes 1,000 players from 31 different countries.

The ITF Seniors/Super-Seniors World Team Championships is the most coveted team event on the ITF Seniors circuit, the senior tennis equivalent to the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions. Venter and Zimmerman will join other top American tennis players, men and women ages 35-55 to compete at the Ali Bey Resort on slow red clay.
"I am honored to be selected for the team. Obviously when you play for your country it’s such an honor and very moving," said Zimmerman. "This event is special because there is such great competition and you get to meet people from all over the world who share the same hobby as you."
Zimmerman finished 2012 ranked #1 nationally by the USTA in 45 singles and doubles, making her the top player on the Women’s 45 Margaret Court team. Her #1 ranking is a result of her hard work and success throughout 2012. She was a singles finalist at the 2012 45 Clay, Hard and Indoors, and placed third at the Grass. Even more effective in doubles, she won the 2012 45 Clay (with Jami Patterson, Brazil, IN) and Grass (with Judy Van Raalte, Wilbraham, MA). She also was a finalist at the 45 Hard (with Patterson) and finished third at the 45 Indoors (with Patterson) competitions. Zimmerman’s teammates in Turkey will be Shelly Works (San Antonio, TX), Erika Smith (Oakland, CA) and Alissa Finerman (Santa Monica, CA).
"The girls on our team are great competitors and really great people. I’m looking forward to playing with them and getting to know them well," said Zimmerman. "The US has a great team this year and I’m looking forward to competing".
"I really do feel that it is an honor to represent the US at such a prestigious event, and being in a foreign country like Turkey is going to be a great experience," Venter said. "I love playing tennis and traveling, and now I get to do the trifecta – play, travel and represent the USA, all at the same time!"
This is the second time Venter has been named to the USA Italia Cup team for men 35 and over. He was a member of the Italia Cup team which finished sixth in last year’s competition in San Diego, CA. Venter has won two national titles, the most recent being the 2012 Men’s 35 Indoor Doubles (with Leif Meineke, La Quinta, CA). He also reached the final of the 2012 35 Hard Doubles (with Stuart Duncan, Laguna Beach, CA). In 2011 Venter won the 35 Grass Doubles (with Mark Tepes, Medford, NJ) and was a singles finalist there. His teammates in Turkey will be Duncan, Tepes, and Justin Touchstone (Weston, FL).
"The good thing about this being my second tournament is that I will be teammates with two of the guys from last year’s team, and we get along just great. The fourth person is new to the team, but we all feel that the camaraderie will be awesome," Venter said.
Venter is a South African native who came to the US in 1995 to attend Oral Roberts University where he played No. 1 singles and was named to first team all conference. Venter is married and works as a commodity trader for the Royal Bank of Canada in the Cincinnati area. In his spare time he helps local junior tennis players develop their skills.
Since its inception in 1981, the number of competitors at the ITF Seniors World Championships has increased each year. As a result, in 1993 the ITF made the decision to divide the championships into two groups; Seniors (35-55) and Super-Seniors (60-80).
In 2012 the US medaled in 8 of the 10 cups, winning the Maureen Connolly Cup (women’s 55), and finishing second in the following cups: Young (women’s 40), Maria Bueno (women’s 50), Tony Trabert (men’s 40), Fred Perry (men’s 50) and Austria (men’s 55). The US finished third in the Suzanne Lenglen Cup (women’s 35) and Dubler Cup (men’s 45).