Zilm help U.S. tennis team win world title
Phyllis Zilm is the first to admit she likes the sound of “world champions” ” particularly when it’s said in reference to her and her teammates on the United States women’s 45 tennis squad.
Zilm, the Glenwood Springs High School girls tennis coach, and the U.S. team rolled through the women’s 45 International Tennis Federation’s Team Championship earlier this month in Atalya, Turkey, to claim the 2004 Margaret Court Cup.
“It was just a positive experience and such a good group,” Zilm said of her teammates. “Everyone contributed something and had something to offer to the team. And, of course, winning is always fun.”
Zilm ” the No. 2-ranked singles player in her age group in the U.S. and part of the No. 1 doubles team with Susan Wright (also a member of the U.S. 45s team) ” went undefeated in the tournament. She played singles against Turkey and in the championship round against France, and played doubles against Australia.
In the championship round Zilm overcame tough weather conditions and was forced to change her playing style before beating France’s Betty Michel 6-3, 6-2 on the red clay courts.
“It was windy as all get-out, so it was really tough,” Zilm said of her final match. “If I played a great point she seemed to hit an even better one. So I just started hitting it down the middle, which really isn’t my game, and she couldn’t keep it in play. She was a very nice player, it was just tough conditions.”
The victory gave the U.S. squad a 1-0 lead and Diane Fishburne, the No. 1 45s singles player, sealed the title with a 6-4, 7-5 win over former professional tour player Catherine Suire. Fishburne went on to win the individual singles title as well.
France avoided the sweep and handed the U.S. team its only match loss of the tournament by winning the doubles contest in three sets.
Zilm won’t stay idle long. She’s scheduled to play in another international competition in Paris at the International Lawn Tennis Club in July.
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