ORANGE tennis ace Helen Worland has donned the green and gold of Australia at the Super Senior World Championship more times than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have claimed Wimbledon titles combined.
But for Worland, this year’s event will be a little more special than most.
Embarking on her 14th Super Senior World Championship, the veteran tennis player has been named captain of the Australian 60-65 years side to contest the Alice Marble Cup on the clay courts of Antalya, Turkey, in October.
Accepting the leadership accolade a little sheepishly, Worland said representing her country was always a “great privilege”.
“They approached me about (being captain) first and I said no, but they then said I had to do it,” she laughed of her appointment as team captain in her return to the Australian team for the first time since 2012.
“It’s always fantastic to represent your country.
“It’s a great privilege.”
Impressing selectors, Worland dominated the Australian Titles at Hobart in January this year as well as a number of qualifying tournaments to earn selection in the national side.
She’ll lead an impressive line-up with the sole aim of claiming the Alice Marble Cup, with Adrienne Avis (NSW), Wendy Gilchrist (Queensland) and Sue Walter (Victoria) joining the Orange-based star on the plane to Turkey.
Much like current Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter, Worland will be in charge of appointing each member of her four-strong side to their respective games against tennis strongholds across Europe.
An International Tennis Federation-backed event, this year’s teams championship will have two singles matches and a doubles match played in each round.
“The good teams will always be up there with us, teams from England, France and Germany ... the Serbians and the Croatians haven’t made it up to our age group yet,” Worland said, adding she’ll likely play doubles with an old friend from NSW.
“My partner (Avis) and I have been playing doubles together since we were kids.”
The week-long 2014 Super Seniors World Championships will start on October 13.