A lifetime devoted to tennis has taken Joachim Nierfeld around the world.
This spring, the 46-year-old’s passion for the sport and knack for swinging a racquet will send him to Umag, Croatia for the ITF Seniors World Team Championships.
Niefield, who will be making his sixth appearance at worlds, is a member of Canada’s four-man team which will compete in the 45-plus division, May 1 to 9.
“It’s exciting to be going again, they move this event to different sites around the world, so that’s a really nice bonus,” said Nierfeld, a teaching professional based in Kelowna.
Adding to the anticipation for Nierfeld is the quality of this year’s Canadian team.
Leading the way is Montreal’s Taras Beyko, the No. 1 ranked singles player in the world is his age group.
Montreal’s Jean-Francois Mathieu, Nierfeld and Victoria’s Hannes Blum round out the national squad which, for the first time, is expected to contend for a medal.
In past years, Canadian players and teams rarely challenged for medals at an international level, but Nierfeld said times are changing.
“With this team, we are going there to win, to make the top three,” said Nierfeld, who is also the Okanagan regional director for Tennis B.C. “In the past, ending up in the top 10 was a success for Canada. Now we can potentially win a medal. “That’s what’s kept me going, having a chance to finally win a medal.”
Nierfeld earned a spot on the Canadian squad thanks to his success in doubles competition over the last several months at the provincials, western indoors and national championships in Montreal.
Nierfeld has won multiple medals over the years in singles and doubles competition at B.C. and Canadian championships, but this is his first and best chance at a world championship.
Nierfeld is also the director of the Kelowna Futures Tennis Tournament, an annual professional event held each summer at the Parkinson Rec Centre courts.
For more information on the tournament visit kelownafutures.com.