The IC of GB travelled to Frankfurt to take part in the Nations Trophy on the 29th April to the 2nd May. The event consisted of the following category’s and players representing those categories were as follows: Ladies Open- Catharine Gunn, Ladies O40’s – Nina Toper, Open Men- Jim May, O35’s-Nick Adams, O40’s-Gary Henderson and O45’s-Graeme Adams (Captain) The six nations competing were: USA, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Belgium and Spain. Each player was competing as an individual in their age group but also as part of the Team Competition.
German hospitality was excellent. We arrived at the airport and were met by our chauffeurs in brand new Audi A8 cars with massage seats and tv screens for the weekend!
Unfortunately as a team we couldn’t quite match the performance of the A8’s and on the first day Catharine Gunn fought off a bug but was vanquished by her German opponent. I lost to the American (German born) Hartmat Liebel 6-4 6-4 and Nina managed a close fought 3rd set championship tie-break win against her Belgium opponent. In the doubles Jim and Nick and myself and Gary progressed to the semis.
On the Saturday we saw some great clay court tennis played, but we only managed one main draw singles win from Jim, although he had to work hard for it! Nick was unlucky not to beat Marc Becker from Belgium having won the second set fairly comfortably and looked to be playing himself in. However the Belgium player took some risks in the 3rd set championship tie-breaker which came off and took the match. Gary had a tough draw against Santiago Tintore from Spain, who looked completely as though he had been born on clay. Gary hit some really powerful shots cross court and down the line, however the Spaniard eventually prevailed 4 and 3. Nina had to play a very tricky Italian Lady who chopped and looped the ball and generally made life very difficult! Unfortunately Nina couldn’t quite find a way to beat her! The ladies doubles against Germany fared no better and Gary and I also lost 6-2 7-5 to the Spanish pair but Jim and Nick beat the Italians. I managed a win in my consolation match against my Belgium counterpart, but Nick went down to his Spanish opponent and Gary was given a w/o unfortunately.
The IC of Germany were again excellent hosts for the official Dinner, held at the Frankfurt Palmengarten Club! Jurgen Fassbender former German No1 spoke about the tournament and gave myself and the Belgium and Spanish Captains honorary membership of the IC of Germany.
Sunday saw the finals day. Representing GB was Jim in the Open final and Jim and Nick in the Open/35’s doubles final. We saw some great tennis played. Jim was eventually pipped at the post by his German opponent Aljoscha Thron in the 3rd set championship tie-break 12-10 (I think?). He later when back on to play the doubles with Nick and lost a close match against the German pairing.
At the end of the weekend the final placings were as follows: 1st Germany, 2nd Spain, 3rd Italy, 4th Great Britain, 5th Belgium and 6th America (although they arrived with no lady players!) I know the IC Team of GB really enjoyed the experience of playing on the red clay and the fantastic hospitality by the IC of Germany.