European Senior Club Championship 2014 took place at world known golf and tennis resort La Manga Club, Mircia region in Spain, which is located in the southeast by Mediterranean Sea. Weather was fantastic with +30C. In M35+ group Latvia was represented by Liepaja men team, which had to compete at preliminary round against the favorites of tournament from Germany (Hamburg), home team Montemar from Spain and champions of Sweden – Lidingo. First games was already against the favorites of tournament – team Hamburg. It has to be mentioned, that in club tennis Germany is the country with the most powerful club league system in the world, where are playing many ATP ranked players. Team Hamburg last year triumphed in their age group in Germany top league. Team Hamburg was represented by JÖRN RENZENBRINK, his highest rank in ATP was 70th place and he has been playing in US Open eighth. Team Hamburg was represented as well by two guest players from Spain, and they have been in ATP ranking too. Team plays at European Senior Club Championship consists from 3 single matches and 2 doubles games. Team Liepaja, of course lost to team Hamburg masterful players in all games.
Next games were against home team from Spain. Our players in these games organized sensation from 3 singles matches we won only one, but in intense games we won both doubles with a scores 7:6(4) 5:7 10:8 and 6:4 7:5 thereby celebrating victory over Spain with 3:2.
Last games in preliminary round was against team from Sweden, who had lost against both previous teams – Spain and Germany. If team Liepaja would won, we would have to play in semifinals, but if lost, then it would be counted individual won sets and games, because teams from Latvia, Spain and Sweden would have one victory. Eventually, after emotionally and physically hard games against team from Spain, our players didn’t have enough strength to win over team from Sweden. After 3 singles we were in lead with 2-1, but for the doubles we didn’t have enough strength, so team Liepaja lost with a scores 6:2 6:3 and 7:6(3) 7:5. So to decide the semifinalists, it was time for mathematical point counting, after which it was decided, that in semifinals will qualify team from Spain, which we did win.
In finals team Hamburg from Germany won 1st place, best team from England took 2nd place, but 3rd place won team from Spain. Our team had to compete outside the semifinals to decide the remaining places. Our team in intense games with a overall score 3-2 won over champions from Turkey, but in next day we lost again against team from Sweden 2-3. After counting the results, it was decided, that team Liepaja took 6th place at European Senior Club Championship 2014.
Team Liepaja returned home with very positive emotions, because team from such a small country as Latvia showed, that we can fight for high places against countries with tennis dynasty.
We remind, that our men this year again won in Latvian club championship, so team Liepaja has earned the possibility to represent Latvia in next years European Senior Club Championship. Liepaja senior team says big thanks to Liepaja Sport department and Liepaja Tennis Sports school for close collaboration during the whole season and for the support for participation at European Senior Club Championship.
Full squad of Liepaja senior team: Andrejs Koļesins, Andis Cirsis, Didzis Holštroms, Gints Rolis, Eduards Grodskis, Artūrs Eglītis, Andis Černecovs, Erlands Lazdāns, Imants Andersons. All squad members are former students of Liepaja Tennis Sports school and their children now are training there and participating in tennis tournaments.