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IC Nation's Trophy 2012 Frankfurt 22nd, 23rd September

Two points from Victory!

The third IC Nations’ Trophy, hosted by the IC of Germany was played at the Bad Vilbel TC, Frankfurt who was celebrating becoming the 2012 German Champions.   The club offered excellent facilities including 12 red clay courts, 4 indoor artificial clay, a comfortable clubhouse and superb dining.   We received the warmest of welcomes from the club; its members and event helpers for which we are most grateful.   

The usual format for this trophy is an individual event played in each age group with points awarded counting towards your nations’ total.   With only four teams participating this year USA, Luxembourg, Germany and Great Britain it was decided to play a round robin event.   Team GB was represented by Captain - Graham Neale (men’s 45), Laura Peterzan (ladies’ open), Nina Topper (ladies’ 40), Richard Wire (men’s open), Seb Jackson (men’s 35) and Richard Ground (men’s 40).

Day 1 brought sunny skies, 19°c and calm conditions, perfect for our first match against Luxembourg.   The entire team was victorious with Richard Ground finding his win from a set and 5-3 down to complete the whitewash.   Unfortunately, Luxembourg were missing their ladies’ 40 which meant Nina just played one set against Sabine Gerke from Germany.   In the other match Germany defeated the USA.   

That evening we attended the official dinner at the Juice Factory – a renovated bottling plant owned by the event sponsor, Rosbacher.   The company’s fifth generation owner, Dirk Hinkel (also Bad Vilbel’s TC President), was present throughout the entire weekend and should receive a special mention for the exceptional hospitality that he extended to all the players and for the work that he, together with Alex Kurucz (President, IC of Germany) put into the successful organisation of this event.   The guest speaker for the evening was DTB President, Dr Karl-Georg Altenburg who spoke about the importance and work of the IC organisations.   Graham Neale then responded and presented the President of the German IC with a gift of an inscribed silver salver from the IC of GB in recognition of the importance and success of the Nations’ Trophy.   

Day 2 was cold and overcast, but no rain!   Today we played the USA; unfortunately unable to field a full team Richard Wire and Nina played German opponents whilst Seb, Graham and Richard Ground all scored wins against their USA opponents.   Laura had a tall order playing a young lady from Virginia just starting on the tour, score GB 6, USA 3.   In the other match Germany defeated Luxembourg.    That evening we were guests at the Bad Vilbel TC Oktoberfest Celebrations.   Again hospitality exceeded expectations when we were treated to a feast of hog roast, schwein hog, pils, music, dancing and traditional dress.   Great evening Bad Vilbel! 

Day 3 was blue skies and sunny for the final against Germany.   We knew we would have to be at our best as the German team were sporting Thomas Behrend and Marcus Naewie – both formerly ranked ATP 70, Isobel Cueto formerly WTA 20, Reiner Marzenell, Dirk Dier and Sabine Gerke all German National Champions!   The girls Laura and Nina got us off to a wonderful start both winning their singles and then combining to produce a great win in the champions’ tie break over Cueto and Gerke.   Seb Jackson was in top form producing a convincing win over Marcus Naewie.   So with the score at 4-4 could Seb and Richard Wire bring the trophy to GB by taking out Behrend and Naewie?   A close first set went to the Germans 6-4, but GB replied strongly with a 6-2 second set.   After trailing by a 3-point deficit in the champions tie break with some crowd pleasing tennis Seb and Richard stood at 8-8, but Germany’s Thomas Behrend produced an outrageous drop shot winner from the base line to seal a well deserved victory for Germany.   

At the prize giving ceremony Seb Jackson and Nina Topper received the top performer award in their categories.  Our thanks are given to all the players for their true IC spirit, to Alex Kurucz (President of the IC of Germany), and to our German hosts who looked after us so very well.   Finally, a big thanks to the GB Team for their commitment and enthusiasm in making this such a pleasurable weekend.

Graham Neale
24th September 2012


Richard Wire Philip Grandjean 6-2 6-1 GB
Laura Peterzan C Roller 2-6 6-1 10-8 GB
Seb Jackson Laurent Simon 6-0 6-3 GB
Graham Neale Hank Reiter 6-2 6-1 GB
Richard Ground Marco Paolucci 3-6 7-5 10-4 GB
Nina Topper Sabine Gerke 6-7 LUX
Jackson/Wire Grandjean/Simon GB
Neale/Ground Reiter/Pierre GB
Peterzan/Topper Roller/ GB

GB –v- USA
Richard Wire T Schade 6-7 6-1 10-12 USA
Laura Peterzan Lindsey Hardenbergh 3-6 3-6 USA
Seb Jackson K Thomas 6-1 6-2 GB
Graham Neale Rick Best 6-0 6-2 GB
Richard Ground Tom Bender 6-1 Ret GB
Nina Topper N Hrynko 6-0 6-0 GB
Jackson/Wire Schade/Thomas 6-3 6-2 GB
Neale/Ground Best/Bender 6-1 6-1 GB
Peterzan/Topper Hardenbergh/Hrynko Not completed          USA

Richard Wire Thomas Behrend 0-6 4-6 GER
Laura Peterzan N Hrynko 6-2 6-0 GB
Seb Jackson Marcus Naewie 6-3 6-2 GB
Graham Neale Reiner Marzenell 4-6 3-6 GER
Richard Ground Dirk Dier 1-6 0-6 GER
Nina Topper K Groninger 6-2 6-2 GB
Jackson/Wire Behrend/Naewie 4-6 6-2 8-10 GER
Neale/Ground Dier/Marzenell 2-6 1-6 GER
Peterzan/Topper Isobel Cueto/Gerke 6-4 3-6 10-4 GB

1. Germany
2. Great Britain
3. Luxembourg
4. USA