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GB participates in successful Prague event

IC of GB vs. IC of Czech Republic, Russia, USA & Germany
In Prague 14/15 June 2012

1. IC of GB Team
Mark Cox, Keith Bland, Michael Gradon, Mark Barnett, Tim Phillips (capt), Vicky van Thiel, Penny Sheehan (+ 2 spouses).

2. Match Format
Mens/Womens/Mixed doubles only. Typically, each player played four matches each lasting 75 minutes (approximately), partnering someone from another IC. Total games won each time by an individual were recorded and aggregated over his/her four matches. Because the German IC only brought four players, Jiri Medonos (the Referee) determined only four best players in each team had their scores included in the team score. Thus, each IC arrived at an aggregate games score, so a team ranking order could be determined.

3. Match Result
IC of GB came first with Russia second, only one game behind. Detailed results attached – along with list of players for each team.

4. Itinerary
Wed 13 June Travel to Prague. Captains meeting to fix tennis programme
Thurs 14 June } Tennis 10.00-15.00 (4 sessions of 1¼ hours)
Fri 15 June } Tennis 10.00-15.00 (4 sessions of 1¼ hours)
Sat 16 June Bus tour morning – to a castle 60 kms outside Prague, called Krivoklet
Sun 17 June Fly back to LHR

Outside this base programme, our team had time to do some sightseeing and have drinks/meals out in Old Prague.

5. The Tennis
Was fun. First day indoors (2 courts) due to rain. Second day on clay (5 courts) and weather warm/sunny.
Various “name” players – Helena Sukova (7 Wimbledon doubles titles 4 LD/ 3 MX); 3 German Ladies ranked respectively approx 20/24/60 on WTA ranking (Silke Meier; Claudia Porwik; Elena Wagner) and our own Mark Cox (best world ranking about 15).

6. IC Membership
Jiri Medonos and Helena Sukova did most of the work organising things. Jan Kodes attended. All these three were already members of IC of GB. I consulted with Helena on other Czech candidates and we concluded no other Czechs should be made members of our IC.
The IC of Czech Republic invited Tim Phillips and Michael Gradon to become members of their club.

7. Gifts
- We gave the Czechs an engraved silver plate salver (paid for by IC of GB). We gave each of the other four competing IC’s firstly Illustrated Wimbledon coffee table book (also copies to Sukova/Kodes) – making 6 in total (paid for by our team) and secondly 24 engraved baggage tags (provided by IC of GB via Toni T) – these distributed across the 4 teams.
- Czech IC gave us an engraved plaque; a key ring for each player and a photobook of Prague which our team gave to Mark Barnett, because he had a Czech mother.
- The Russians, Germans and Americans did not give us gifts, but the latter two did give the Czechs something for hosting the event.
- Team members paid their own hotel/flight/local expenses. Czech IC paid for court time/lunch and refreshments at tennis/the bus tour. They said they had secured sponsorship to cover these expenses. They secured room rate €99 at Holiday Inn for us.

8. Return Match
The Committee of IC of GB should seriously consider inviting the Czech IC over here. They were very thoughtful hosts and our team went there 3 or 4 years ago as well. I asked our team if they would give accommodation to visiting Czechs and most said “Yes” – because fewer Czechs could afford such a trip.
Note The All England Club is taking a team of 30 people to Prague in Sept/Oct time. Maybe a combined itinerary (AELTC and IC)?

9. Conclusion
A hugely enjoyable trip. All our team had a good time and joined in everything.
While we were at the tennis club (I.CLTK), the President of the Czech Republic, who is also President of I.CLTK, dedicated a plaque to Jaroslav Drobny (Wimbledon Champion 1954 and AELTC member). They welcomed a contribution at this ceremony from us – I spoke briefly as Drobny was an AELTC member.

Click here for full results

Click here to view the photo album of the event