Barker helps lead team to gold medal

USA Connolly Cup Team
Diane Barker, Daniel Island, SC teamed with Leslie Airola-Murveit of Portola Valley, CA, Carolyn Nichols of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, and Susan Wright of Grand Junction, CA to win the Maureen Connolly Cup competition. These players were awarded their gold medals at the conclusion of the team competition at Balboa Tennis Club in San Diego, CA on February 10, 2012.
The American team, led by Barker playing the first singles spot, totally dominated the competition. The team lost just 9 games in 8 singles matches; Barker lost just three. They demolished Sweden and Canada, losing a total of 13 games in the preliminary rounds, and then swept South Africa in the semi-finals, before finally giving up a match to Great Britain in the finals, losing the doubles in three sets. This victory ensured that the Maureen Connolly Cup will remain in Connolly’s hometown of San Diego for the sixth consecutive year!
The Connolly Cup team was the only American team to win a team championship, but eight of the ten American teams medaled; the men’s 40, 50, and 55 teams took silver, as did the women’s 40 and 50 teams. The men’s 45 and women’s 35 teams took bronze, and the women’s 45 and men’s 35 teams finished fifth and sixth respectively.
In the Individual Senior World Championships the following week, Barker continued her domination. She lost just one game in her first three matches, before facing Connolly Cup teammate Carolyn Nichols in the semifinals. She bested Nichols, giving up a tournament high 4 games, then topped former touring professional Patricia Medrado of Brazil by the same 6-3, 6-1 score in the championship match. The victory gave Barker her fifth world championship, and her second consecutive win over Medrado in the finals. Barker also teamed up with her husband, Jack Barker, in the mixed doubles, taking out the top seeded team of Australian Lyn Mortimer and Belgian Pierre Godfroid before falling to the American team of Robin Harris and Angel Lopez in the quarterfinals.
The ITF Seniors/Super-Seniors World Team Championships is the most coveted team event on the ITF Seniors circuit. Since its inception, the number of competitors attracted to this event has increased annually. The Seniors World Championships is divided into two groups, Seniors for the 35-55 and over and Super-Seniors for the 60-80 and over.