News

IC France - IC Denmark. September 2021

IC France - IC Denmark. September 2021

Summary – from the streets and courts of Paris

Summary – from the streets and courts of Paris

 

A team match between the dear friends of IC France and IC Denmark, took place on the weekend of September 25.-26. 2021. The weather during the match was made for tennis. The temperature was approximately 22 degrees and windless. Moreover, by Danish standards, the clay courts were sublime, with a nice smooth surface. So there was little excuse for not playing good tennis, other than the strong sunshineJ.

 The venue for the event was the Stade Francaise in Paris, which is situated in the beautiful Parc-National de Saint Cloud. Stade Francaise is an impressive tennis club with 36 tennis courts, a gym, saunas and restaurants. Stade Francaise hosted the French Open before the tournament was moved to its current venue at Stade de Roland Garros I 1928.

For most Danes it was the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, that we were able to travel abroad, and it was therefore extra fantastic to receive such a warm welcome by the French IC members and to see so many familiar and happy faces. Several of the Danes arrived a day or two before the match and the French IC had booked, to our delight, some practice courts the day before the match. There was also time for some private sightseeing and it is a wonder that no Danes were injured during the pre-tennis activities, as the miles and speed of those who used the electric scooters in the tense traffic of the streets of Paris were quite impressive.

Throughout most of the Saturday and Sunday morning 19 matches were played. Inspired by the Next Gen event taking place in Milan each year, we played short sets – first to four games or tiebreaker at 4 all. The advantage of playing short sets was that we could play more matches, and if, for example, you lost 4/0 4/0 you might be able to convince – at least yourself – that you would have won had the sets been the normal length.

 

 

 

Note photo. French captain Bruno Renault (right), Danish Captain, Christian Buchwald and co-captain Mai Grage, took good care of the schedule and management of all the matches (see photo). Thanks also to the President of IC France Thierry Pham (left) for the invitation and your great hospitality which made us feel at home.

A lot of good tennis was played during the weekend, and the courts were filled with former WTA/ATP players and national champions. All matches were played in a very friendly and positive atmosphere, with a love of tennis at the centre. To mention just some of these matches seems unfair but let us mention a few. Karla Mraz played a very solid and speedy game of tennis when she won in a close match against former top 100 player Eva Dyrberg. France leveled the score on Sunday to 9-9 when men’s doubles Marc Renoult and Alain Huszak won a tight and well-played match against Svend-Erik Kundby Nielsen and Steen Billman. The decisive match became a wonderful mixed doubles with a lot of interactive netplay. The French team of Eléonore Barrère and Christophe Bernelle took the lead but in the end the Danish Team of Mai Grage and Thomas Søbirk Petersen came out victorious and thereby the Danish Team won the overall team match by the smallest of margins, 10-9.

 

Off the tennis courts the France IC took extremely good care of us. In the mornings the French team picked us up at the hotel and on Saturday afternoon we were treated to a guided sight-seeing tour of the most lovely, authentic Parisian areas not known or seen by us before. This was a very positive experience enhanced by Christophe Bernelle’s knowledge and charm.