Welcome to the International Club of Canada
"Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean "
To promote friendship and sportsmanship in tennis between Canada and other countries by hosting tennis events with other IC countries and supporting tennis development in Canada by providing mentorship for young tennis players.
The first meeting of Active Members of the International Lawn Tennis Club of Canada was held at the Albany Club in Toronto on Wednesday, August 11, 1965, at 12.30 p.m. Laird Watt, the first president of the Club, was unable to attend and Gilbert Nunns chaired the meeting. In addition to Gilbert those attending the meeting in person or by proxy were familiar names in Canadian tennis history: Peter Barnard, John Bassett, Bob Barnard, François Godbout, Bruce Harrison, Sydney Hermant, Jim Macken, Harry Marpole and Walter Martin. Don Fontana, captain of the Club, agreed to approach the I.C. of the USA for a match in 1966. There were discussions of a black tie dinner, a match against a touring team from England and plans to participate in I.C. matches in Holland. The Canadian I.C. was up and operating. It had officially received “International Club” recognition just six weeks before, at the annual meeting of the Council of I.C.’s held each year during the fortnight of Wimbledon. It joined thirteen other nations with International Clubs, all existing with a common interest in the game of tennis.
The annual match with the USA Club has been the main regular event of the Club since that time, with matches alternating each year between the Donalda Club and various locations in the USA. The Piping Rock Club on Long Island, The Merion Cricket Club in Philadelphia, The West Side Tennis Club on Long Island. In 1971 the matches were divided in an open event competing for the Proctor Cup and a seniors event for the new Lawrence Baker Trophy. Women’s matches were included in the late 90’s and starting in the year 2000 teams will play for the Carole Graebner Trophy.
There is no doubt that tournaments for the Windmill, Christiane Mercelis, and Columbus Trophies represent the highlights of the I.C. Movement. On these occasions many of the now 34 International Clubs meet in team competition. In these tournaments old friendships across the net and across the nations are renewed, and new ones made. Equally enjoyable are the I.C. Tours where teams of I.C. players tour other countries at the invitation of their I.C.’s, or host visiting teams.
This brief review of the Club’s history would not be complete without an expression of gratitude to the spirit behind the creation of the I.C. Club of Canada, the Late Bruce Harrison and those who have served on the Club’s executive, particularly its presidents: Laird Watt, Walter Martin, John Proctor, Jim Skelton, Frank Mott-Trille, Brian Flood and David Dimmer.
Ireland has won the Potter Cup title for the first time, scoring a 5-2 win over France on the final day of the International Club’s flagship men’s senior tennis competition. The women’s title went to Spain, who successfully defended their title in a repeat of last year’s final against Italy.
A total of 12 national IC teams were in Barcelona for the competition, which was played on the courts of the Real Club de Polo and Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899 from May 30st to June 2nd 2019.
The men’s event saw a series of upsets as unseeded Ireland tore through the draw, outlasting third seeds United States 4-3 on the opening day and hosts Spain 5-2 in the semi-finals. In the top half of the draw, fourth seeded France edged past Great Britain 4-3 before ending Italy’s four-year unbeaten streak in the semi-finals by the same score line.
The final day saw the two teams poised for another nail bitingly close finished after Ireland led 3-2 following a series of brutal singles battles, of which all but one went to three sets. Unfortunately, the French team had to withdraw from the doubles matches, handing victory to a jubilant Irish team. Ireland thus becomes just the eighth nation ever to win a title at the 47 editions of the Potter Cup, following in the footsteps of IC Spain, IC Italy, IC USA, IC Great Britain, IC Brazil, IC Germany and IC France.
There were fewer upsets in the women’s competition, which saw the top seeded teams emerge to battle for the Two Presidents’ Trophy for a second year in succession. Having beaten Great Britain and Ireland respectively without the loss of a match, Spain and Italy revelled in the chance of a re-match, which went to the wire.
The tie could not have been closer, with the two teams splitting the singles matches (Eva Bes beat Alice Canepa 7-5 6-2 to give the hosts the lead before Francesca Frappi levelled with a 6-2 6-2 win over Noelia Perez). For the deciding doubles, Spain drafted in Gisela Riera to partner Perez, with the pair eventually scraping to a thrilling 6-3 4-6 (12-10) win over Canepa & Frappi to defend the title.
The tournament also staged its now traditional tennis clinic for players with intellectual disabilities from the ACELL Foundation, who had the opportunity to play alongside Potter Cup participants in an entertaining on-court session.
In addition to the two hosting clubs, the 2019 Potter Cup was supported by the Catalan Tennis Federation, the IC Council, the Barcelona Town City Hall, the Diputación de Barcelona, the Consell Català de l’Esport and the Spanish Tennis Federation.
Potter Cup 2019 from IC Tennis on Vimeo.
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