Bird Bay Team United States

Team United States shows off its national flag in celebration of its victory in the 2019 Bird Bay Village World Cup Tennis competition. Pictured are: Norm Klug, left, who, one month short of his 83rd birthday, is the oldest participant; Candy Secor; Hector Echavarria; and Team Captain Bill Harris.

After a full month of hot tennis between 16 teams, each representing a different country, Team United States emerged the winner after defeating Team Russia in a match witnessed by over 200 spectators on Bird Bay Village’s tennis courts.

Christian Maziere, World Cup chairman, tennis pro and Bird Bay resident, selected the 16 teams representing as many countries with four-person teams competing in the month-long tournament. Each team has a balanced skill set playing a hybrid tournament. A total of 64 members and 11 subs make up the teams. Each team gets into the spirit of its country with national flags, signs, informal uniforms matching the country’s colors, even playing a country’s national anthem before a match.

Competition ran through February, followed by a festive patio party featuring each country’s team presenting food and drink native to that country. Dave Saxe, president of the Bird Bay Tennis Group said, “This event brings all our tennis players together, along with many of our non-playing residents in a colorful, fun event that is a highlight of our winter season.”

The Bird Bay Tennis Group is one of the largest, most active and respected tennis groups on the Sun Coast. The group, some 120 strong, fields teams in the Sun Coast Men’s League, the Women’s League, a Mixed Doubles League and a Sunshine League for developing players. In addition, regular Round Robin events are staged every Wednesday and Saturday, plus clinics, a monthly patio party, a tennis dance, picnic, yard sale, even a Friday Walking Golf outing.

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