The IC of Hungary, captained by John Davidhazy, flew a mixed 9 player senior’s team from Budapest for a four day stay in the UK, arriving on Thursday 18th July at the Bellhouse Hotel in Buckinghamshire. Their first engagement was with the Town Crier of Windsor, who took them on an informative and entertaining guided tour of the town, ending with dinner in a 17th century English inn ‘dedicated to life, liberty, food, drink and other less serious matters’.
Friday saw the team travel into London for a spot of sightseeing in preparation for their tennis match over the weekend. Hopping on and off guided tour buses they packed in most of the capital’s main sights and sounds including Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and a boat ride along the Thames before returning to their hotel for a first class dinner with the IC of GB. The superb quality of the food may have been aided by the presence of a Hungarian chef in the kitchen!
Everybody convened in the mansion at Moor Park for the beginning of the match on Saturday morning, which was looking resplendent in the summer sun. The IC of GB flag had made it up the flagpole (thanks to the efforts of Henk Nijeboer and the Maharajah of Kutch the day before), and IC banners surrounded the match courts. After coffee and introductions the tennis commenced, with almost all the Hungarian players receiving their first experience of tennis on grass! This statistic, coupled with the fact that GB fielded a stellar seniors team made up of multiple national grass court veterans, made life difficult for our guests, who managed to reach 5 games in a set only once before respite arrived in the form of a fabulous buffet lunch.
The hope that food would fuel the Hungarians and send the GB team to sleep was wishful thinking on their part as in the afternoon the home side proved no more relenting than the midday sun. After a full day’s play including three rounds of singles, doubles and mixed doubles the score stood at 17 rubbers to the IC of GB without loss. The Terrace bar provided the perfect opportunity for John and his team to drown their sorrows, drinks preceding an outstanding 3 course dinner in the Thornhill room surrounded by stunning Fresco walls and a beautiful view looking out over the mansion lawns. The evening concluded with after-dinner speeches when it was revealed that the GB team would be fielding some fresh faces the next day, our players having encouraged the Hungarians to make the most of the Moor Park wine list and hospitality!
Sunday saw another gorgeous summer’s day break at Moor Park and the teams arrived for the final two rounds of the fixture. Sure enough John’s side put in an improved performance in every match, particularly former WTA player Zsuzsanna Turi who paired up with Ferenc Erdei to conclude the tie with a great mixed doubles against Shirley Fox and Keith Ajegbo. Unfortunately for Hungary despite serving for the first set they were unable to close it out and GB maintained their clean sheet, winning 29 rubbers to 0 overall. The event concluded with another superb buffet lunch and the exchanging of gifts, with John expressing his thanks to the IC of GB for a wonderful trip and how he is looking forward to receiving us in the future.
Huge thanks must go to Moor Park, particularly Janice Kerr and Swee Lan Miller, for their hard work and the outstanding hospitality we all received over the weekend. Thanks also to David and Gill Waite for supporting the fixture and Philip Siviter for his help behind the scenes!
IC of GB: Christine French; Anne Clark; Niall Sweeney; Roy Henderson; Donald Adams; Stephen Woodley; Jasper Cooper; Mike Francis; Alec Davidson; Pauline Fisher; Shirley Fox; Peter Jantzen; Alec Allen; Keith Ajegbo; Paul Riley (non-playing captain)
IC of Hungary: Zsuzsanna Turi; Julianna Dudics; Matyas Nagy; Gyorgy Zoltan; Ferenc Erdei; John Davidhazy (captain); Ferenc Kocsis; Miklos Vecsei; Robert Patkai
RESULT: IC of GB 29 IC of Hungary 0