The World Masters is starting at the end of next week in Johannesburg, South Africa. Nineteen Americans are entered into the tournament, which has attracted a total of 950 players from thirty-four countries. Team USA medal hopes rest primarily with Natalie Grainger, the number one seed and defending champion in the women’s 35+ draw; Hope Prockop, the number two seed in the women’s 45+, Anders Wahlstedt a 3/4 seed in the men’s 50+ and four American 5/8 seeds: John Musto in the men’s 45+, Tony Brettkelly and Richard Millman in the men’s 55+ and Norbert Kornyei in the men’s 70+.
The World Masters was begun in 1976 in London for men and 1982 in Perth for women; they have been combined since 1993 in Edinburgh. It is the third time the World Masters, a biennial event, will be in South Africa after Johannesburg hosted in 1997 and Cape Town hosted in 2006. Wanderers, Parkview Squash Centre and Country Club Johannesburg are the host clubs. Over the decades Team USA has captured a few titles at the World Masters: Jack Herrick won the men’s 45+ in 1983 in Auckland, Joyce Davenport the women’s 50+ in 1992 in Vancouver, Natalie Grainger the women’s 35+ and Michael Gough the men’s 75+ in 2014 in Hong Kong.
This will be the twenty-fourth staging of the World Masters. It has been held in ten different nations but never in the United States. That will change at the twenty-fifth World Masters which will be at Boar’s Head in Charlottesville, VA from July 29 to August 4, 2018.
For competition rules and more information, visit the 2016 World Masters tournament page.