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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,
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And dear the land that gave you birth,
And dearer yet the brotherhood,
That binds the brave of all the earth.
-Sir Henry Newbolt...
Ireland has won the Potter Cup title for the first time, scoring a 5-2 win over France on the final day of the International Club’s flagship men’s senior tennis competition. The women’s title went to Spain, who successfully defended their title in a repeat of last year’s final against Italy.
A total of 12 national IC teams were in Barcelona for the competition, which was played on the courts of the Real Club de Polo and Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899 from May 30st to June 2nd 2019.
The men’s event saw a series of upsets as unseeded Ireland tore through the draw, outlasting third seeds United States 4-3 on the opening day and hosts Spain 5-2 in the semi-finals. In the top half of the draw, fourth seeded France edged past Great Britain 4-3 before ending Italy’s four-year unbeaten streak in the semi-finals by the same score line.
The final day saw the two teams poised for another nail bitingly close finished after Ireland led 3-2 following a series of brutal singles battles, of which all but one went to three sets. Unfortunately, the French team had to withdraw from the doubles matches, handing victory to a jubilant Irish team. Ireland thus becomes just the eighth nation ever to win a title at the 47 editions of the Potter Cup, following in the footsteps of IC Spain, IC Italy, IC USA, IC Great Britain, IC Brazil, IC Germany and IC France.
There were fewer upsets in the women’s competition, which saw the top seeded teams emerge to battle for the Two Presidents’ Trophy for a second year in succession. Having beaten Great Britain and Ireland respectively without the loss of a match, Spain and Italy revelled in the chance of a re-match, which went to the wire.
The tie could not have been closer, with the two teams splitting the singles matches (Eva Bes beat Alice Canepa 7-5 6-2 to give the hosts the lead before Francesca Frappi levelled with a 6-2 6-2 win over Noelia Perez). For the deciding doubles, Spain drafted in Gisela Riera to partner Perez, with the pair eventually scraping to a thrilling 6-3 4-6 (12-10) win over Canepa & Frappi to defend the title.
The tournament also staged its now traditional tennis clinic for players with intellectual disabilities from the ACELL Foundation, who had the opportunity to play alongside Potter Cup participants in an entertaining on-court session.
In addition to the two hosting clubs, the 2019 Potter Cup was supported by the Catalan Tennis Federation, the IC Council, the Barcelona Town City Hall, the Diputación de Barcelona, the Consell Català de l’Esport and the Spanish Tennis Federation.
Potter Cup 2019 from IC Tennis on Vimeo.
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