IC Council News

June 2019
IC Tennis Greats Support The “IC Rod Laver Worldwide Junior Challenge”

IC Tennis Greats Support The “IC Rod Laver Worldwide Junior Challenge”

The IC Rod Laver Worldwide Junior Challenge is gaining wonderful support from many “Tennis Legends”.  Foremost among these is Rod Laver whose name has been incorporated into the title of the event from 2019 onwards.

However Rod Laver is not alone as many other “Tennis Legends” and former top tour players have become increasingly involved.  Among IC members who have been at the very top of the game in their careers one of the most recent to support the event is Evonne Goolagong whose Foundation is helping to send a team of indigenous Australian juniors to the upcoming regional event in Hong Kong.  Gabriella Sabatini, a recent recipient of the CQS Jean Borotra IC Sportsmanship award, has made a donation to this year’s South American Regional Event and has also participated in a clinic for disadvantaged kids that is run at the events.  In the North American Regional Event former number 1 doubles player Mark Knowles’ charity has helped support travel for the Bahamas Junior team players.  All the above are “Major” title winners.

There are many others who have participated in some way including former top 20 tour players Marcello Fillipini of Uruguay and Jergen Fassbender of Germany who have captained their country’s junior teams - a great experience for the juniors.  Many other IC members and former top tour players such as the South Americans Jaime Fillol, Jorge Lehman, Nelson Earts, Fernando Gentil and the late Enrique Morea have all been involved with Junior Challenges. Indeed South America has used the Junior Challenges to get together many of the former tour players who have re-united and got on court alongside these events - enjoyable for both them and for the juniors to see their country tennis legends playing and exhibiting the IC motto of “ hands across the net friendship across the ocean”.

The original idea for the Junior Challenge was inspired by Frank Sedgman and Athol Tills(NZ IC)  who arranged international practice sessions between their two countries and when Australia staged The Worldwide Finals IC President Frank Sedgman  and the then Australian IC President Paul MacNamee supported that event and entertained all the participating juniors to a day at The Australian Open. Paul also played doubles with the juniors on a day at the former Australian Open grass court venue of Kooyong - another great experience for the juniors.

There are many other IC Members who have been top tour players, Davis Cup and Fed Cup players who have supported The IC Junior Challenges and apologies for not mentioning all of them . The IC thanks all these  “IC Tennis Greats “ for their support and involvement in what many juniors have described as their “most enjoyable tennis experience”.

For further information on the event “The Story of the IC Junior Challenge” can be downloaded from this website.

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