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Ted Avory Trophy, August 6th and 7th, 2009

Ted Avory Trophy 2009 – August 6th and 7th

Stoke Park played host to the seventh Ted Avory Trophy match against the IC of the United States. A strong American team of 13 Men and 9 Ladies made the trip across the Atlantic along with several loyal supporters. But they faced one of the strongest British teams assembled in recent years and after two days of fantastic tennis the IC of GB came out winners by 37 to 19.

This impressive victory margin disguises the competitiveness of the match with 17 of the matches going to a third set tie-break. Nail-biting tussles included Christine French’s 3 ½ hour victory over Mariana Hollman – reversing the result in a recent World Championship Final – and Lee Childs’ third set victory in the Blue Riband Open Singles match against Stanford University’s Ryan Thacher. The result was a tremendous team effort for the IC of GB with wins across the board for Ladies and Men in all age groups. The weather was inclement for both days and unfortunately only one hour of play on grass was possible but this did little to dampen the spirits of the teams.

Stoke Park proved to be a superb venue. Not only did its English Country House beauty and grandeur delight our American guests, but the facilities and staff were truly five star. We enjoyed three excellent evening functions with superb food and wine with over 70 guests attending the dinner on the final evening. Having the hotel rooms and social functions on the same site as the tennis made for much simpler organisation and a more relaxing time for all players and guests; where possible we should a adopt a similar model for future Ted Avory events.

The spirit of the event was once again evident throughout, reminding us of the principles of the IC movement and in particular our close relationship with the American IC. In my closing speech at the final dinner I completely forgot to tell the audience the final match result. An oversight on my part perhaps but also an indication of the fact that the Ted Avory Trophy and what it stands for are far more important than any single scoreline. We were delighted to offer honorary membership of the IC of GB to Armie Neely and Chas Hoeveler and were thrilled for Mike Dawe and Ali Napier, who were both made honorary members of the American IC.

In bringing down the curtain on the 2009 event, our Chairman David Waite expressed his thanks to the American team for making the trip this year and our excitement at the prospect of the trip to the United States in 2011. And finally, to the great delight of our American guests, he announced that the 2013 Ted Avory Trophy would be played at the All England Club, Wimbledon.

Mark George