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Mark Cox receives Sportsmanship Award

Every year the IC of Great Britain presents its Sportsmanship Award to the British tennis player, who by his or her actions on and off the court has exhibited a high standard of sportsmanship and contributed to the IC ideal of fostering international friendship through tennis.

This year it gives me particular pleasure to present this prestigious award to a very worthy recipient, a left-hander with a stylish game, a fiendish and often un-returnable swinging serve and a dogged determination to win; a player who reached a career high world ranking of 13 and was part of the last British team to reach the Davis Cup Final back in 1978 – I am talking of course of Mark Cox.

Mark was a world class player reaching the ¼-final of the US Open in 1966, beating the No.2 seed Ken Rosewall on the way and the ¼-final of the Australian Open in 1967 and in 1971, when he had an outstanding win against the top seed, Rod Laver. On 3 occasions he reached the 4th round at Wimbledon and in his illustrious career he won 8 tour singles and 3 doubles titles. He also, of course, has the historical distinction of being the first amateur player to beat a professional, when in 1968 at Bournemouth at the very beginning of the open era he defeated Pancho Gonzales in 5 sets, having cunning lulled him into a false sense of security by losing the first set 6-0!

Since retiring from the circuit Mark has contributed greatly to the tennis world, both as a coach and a commentator, areas in which his experience, intelligence and calm common sense are invaluable. He is also a Patron of the charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young and an ambassador for the Win Tennis Academy at Bisham. In recent years Mark has been a very active IC member, having represented our Club on many occasions and it is always a delight to have Mark and his lovely wife Susie on the team. 

Despite all his achievements, Mark has remained a thoroughly nice, modest and unassuming man, whose actions, both on and off the court, make him a most worthy recipient of this award, which I would ask him now to come forward and receive.