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IC of GB vs IC of France

IC of GB vs IC of France

Date: 27th – 28th May 2023

Venue: Lagardere Racing Club, Paris

This annual match took place at the end of May at the prestigious venue of the Lagardere Racing Club in Paris. The match manager, Stephanie Cornish, made all the arrangements with a formidable team consisting of 8 GB players; Anne Clark, Eilidh Smith, Jess Ren, Ian Baggett (guest), Neil Howitt, Simon Partridge, Andrew Smith and Kit Spencer.

The GB team safely arrived in Paris meeting up for a meal at a local restaurant on the Friday evening to plan our tactics ……

The French team duly took the challenge of matching ages and standards with the usual flexibility of playing schedule.

Day one, Saturday, saw an early start with breakfast and practice at 9:00 then onto the singles.

After the first 2 rounds, the GB team were 2-4; Neil Howitt claimed a win losing a very close first set 4-6 with his opponent then retiring. Eilidh Smith won comfortably vs Isabelle Crudo but Ian, Kit, Simon and Andrew despite fighting hard came away with losses.

Anne then had her money’s worth in the mid-day sun beating Isabelle Billard 4-6 7-6(6) 10-8. In the next round of doubles Eilidh partnered Simon winning their mixed with Andrew & Kit and Neil & Ian losing their doubles.

So 4-6 down at the end of play, day 1.

The GB team were treated to a fun evening with the standard French hospitality at the Racing Club. Anne was honoured to be awarded Honorary Membership of the IC of France with Bruno Renoult being awarded Honorary Membership of the IC of GB. Avoiding penguin jokes, Anne delivered a speech partially in French – the first time publicly speaking in French since school!

Sunday, France were short of players with the schedule including only 3 singles. Eilidh completed her successful weekend, winning 7-6 6-4, Jess Ren and Ian both had tough matches losing in two sets. So the final result was 8-5 to France.

The team were then treated with tickets to the French Open which was very special attending the IC Cocktail party on the Sunday at Roland Garros.

All’s well that ends well (tout va bien ça va bien)!

A great team, fantastic club, all fought hard (we’ll take them next year ) rounded off by watching the tennis at Roland Garros in lovely sunshine with a glass of bubbly.

Anne Clark (acting Match Manager)

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