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 42 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.
The inaugural Gottfried von Cramm Trophy has now concluded, marking a significant moment in our IC history.
Whilst the preparations leading up to the event had posed some challenges, the tournament itself turned out to be nothing short of fantastic.
A total of seven International Clubs (ICs) participated in the mixed event for players aged 28-44, including Great Britain, the United States, Spain, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Germany.
Due to inclement weather, the quarter-finals on Friday had to be played indoors. Fortunately, Saturday and Sunday graced the tournament with sunny skies. The teams from the IC of Spain (featuring the Spanish 40+ champion Antonio Alcaraz) and IC Germany (boasting Anna-Lena Herzgeroth, former Groenefeld and Wimbledon Mixed winner, and Benny Becker, a former ATP Top 30 player) were seeded as the top two teams. The teams from Great Britain and the USA (including Mallory Burdette, a former WTA No. 60 player) were seeded third and fourth.
As anticipated, the quarter-final results aligned with these seedings. In the semi-finals, Team Spain defeated Team USA with a score of 2-1, while Team Germany emerged victorious over Team GB with a score of 2-1.
In the final, IC Germany triumphed over IC USA with a score of 2-0. The third-place match saw IC GB securing a 2-1 win over IC USA. Luxembourg's team secured fifth place after defeating Switzerland.
The hospitality provided by the Frankfurter Tennis Club Palmengarten was exceptional, as were the supporting programme activities. A cocktail reception hosted by Radio Frankfurt on the rooftop of a skyscraper's 27th floor was followed by a players' party featuring a professional DJ at a former juice factory. The atmosphere was electric, and there was a strong call for the next Gottfried von Cramm Trophy to include a repeat of these festivities, which clearly resonated with everyone in attendance.
Ben Rogers, the IC of GB Team Captain, commented: “It was mentioned at the IC Dinner that Gottfried von Cramm was most celebrated for combining tennis excellence with a gentleman’s approach. I think that he, and indeed the founder of the IC movement, Wallis Myers, would be immensely proud of the tournament, which showcased talent, built bonds of friendship, and displayed the utmost in court etiquette and fairness.”
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