Welcome to the International Club of Ireland
"Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean "
To set the game above renown,
To love the game beyond the prize,
To honour, while you strike him down,
The foe that comes with fearless eyes,
To count the life of battle good,
And dear the land that gave you birth,
And dearer yet the brotherhood,
That binds the brave of all the earth.
-Sir Henry Newbolt...
We saw a great week of competition and camaraderie with the IC of USA team emerging undefeated and as the 2018 Champions with a final day win over the IC of Uruguay. The strong Italian team came in second with Uruguay third. Host nation Japan took fourth place and South Africa the fifth.
The final place went to India who, although not recording a win, played well and pushed most teams to several tie breaks.
The overall standard was high and in depth. The Italian team, with all four players ranked in the top 200 ITF 18 & under rankings, only managed second place and were given some close matches by all teams.
The juniors have had a great week of tennis and played as many matches as if they were in a 32-draw tournament in both singles and doubles and making the finals in both events. So instead of just making finals this week, they have also been making friends in the motto of the IC "Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean".
There were plenty of candidates for the Sportsmanship awards which went to Nishant Dabas of India and Linge Steenkamp from South Africa with honourable mentions to both Japanese boys.
At the final night dinner the IC of Japan were thanked for putting on an outstanding week that culturally was the best ever - an outstanding Welcome Dinner with her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado in attendance, a clinic for disadvantaged kids with the juniors helping, dressing everyone in Kimonos, a visit to a Buddhist Temple, a tea ceremony and caligraphy class.
At the final night dinner the juniors spoke and explained the meaning of their country flags to everyone, thanked the IC and IC Japan for putting on what many of them expressed as the best week of tennis they have ever had.
Half the juniors are now going on to the Grade 1 ITF Junior Tournament in Osaka, Japan where they will continue the friendships they have built this week and use the experience they have gained playing tennis in The Compass IC Junior Challenge Worldwide Finals 2018. All the photos from the event can be viewed and downloaded free here by courtesy of Yoshiharu Yokoyama and Julian Tatum.
IC junior result 2018_10122018.xlsx