2017 Cup of Nations
Tue, 20 Jun 2017 00:00
The annual Cup of Nations tournament was played out under brilliant blue skies on Sunday 18th June. A fixture clash with Fathers Day resulted in a depleted field (on the plus side, it's good to see Fathers being accorded the high level of respect they deserve on this auspicious day).
The drop in numbers in no way lead to a drop in quality as teams from France, the USA and returning champions Mexico battled it out in the blazing sunshine. Mexico (who won this tournament in 2015 and 2016) started strongly with a 10 point haul in round 1 to establish a cushion over the notoriously slow-starting French. Meanwhile, Team USA (all chest bumps and high fives) also began to gel nicely, with the restrained yin of scratch pairing Dimmer and Darley, matched by the feisty yang of Melanie-Lou Gregory and Jon Gregory III, whose battle cry of "DEEUUCE!" could still be heard echoing around the village long after we'd all gone home.
A and B pairings for each team were kept in constant rotation throughout the 2 hour event, meaning fatigue (in the shape of a nice cup of tea and a catch up with the Sunday papers) was never far from people's thoughts. Perhaps inevitably, it was the sun-loving Mexicans who coped best with the hot conditions. Any thoughts that the shaven-headed style sported by tennis newbie Fry "El Fry" Fry might prove something of a vulnerability in the relentless sunshine were quickly banished as Los Frys together racked up narrow victory after convincing draw. These valuable points, when added to the commanding haul amassed by Douglass y Douglass, gave last year's champions Mexico an unassailable 38 points in the race for the first silverware of 2017. Mexico (who, did I mention, have won this tournament before?) were closely followed by the mercurial French. Hilder-et-Poplett proved as strong a pairing on court as it looked on paper, whilst husband and wife combo, Jean et Alison Hutchins showed heart to bounce back from a 6-0 drubbing to hand out a whitewash of their own to poor USA. That's the beauty of tennis: when someone hurts you, you can dish it straight out again to someone else, thus keeping the pain and anger alive in a circle of resentment.
Final scores, then: Mexico (38 pts), France (19pts), USA (15 pts). But more importantly, a fine morning's tennis (and an even finer bowl of strawberries from the Gregorys). Many thanks to all participants.