USA win IC Caribbean Doubles
After a week of wonderful weather and great tennis the USA Robins team emerged as the Championship winners of the sixth IC Caribbean Doubles Week held this year in The Bahamas.
USIC President and USA Robins team player Robb Bunnen said " This has been a fantastic week of tennis played to a high standard with great camaraderie and sportsmanship. The Bahamas have been wonderful hosts and I know all our team will want to return to The Bahamas again for any future events. We go back to the USA as proud winners with fond memories including many renewed friendships and also with new ones created in the IC tennis world."
There was a full week of competitive tennis for five teams over 5 days comprising some 40 players from USA, Canada, Barbados and The Bahamas.
The format called for each team to play every other team with an inter country match consisting of two mens doubles, two mixed doubles and one ladies doubles played in pairs of combined ages varying from 105 years to 125 years. So a team was a minimum of 6 players ( four men and two ladies) but most comprised of more so different players could perhaps play the mixed doubles , be rested or pairing combinations switched.
Full results are attached. As can be seen many individual matches were taken to third set tie breaks. In the inter country matches seven out of ten finished in close 3 to 2 overall match results - often decide by a third 10 point tie break set individual match .
So the final standings were USA Robins, USA Bluebirds, Barbados, Canada International and the hosts Bahamas in fifth pace.
The event was played on the clay courts of the historic Nassau Lawn Tennis Club which was founded in 1880. That makes it almost the same age as Wimbledon and one of the very oldest clubs in the North America region. In line with that tradition the Final Night Presentation dinner was held at the also historic Royal Nassau Sailing Club. This was where the Duke of Windsor frequented when he was Governor General of The Bahamas during the Second World War. There was a Bahamian seafood menu with a traditional Bahamian "Rake & Scrape" band playing the steel drums and a carpenters saw to the enjoyment of all and amazement of the non Caribbean players. Apparently it was the same saw the musician used when he was a carpenter !
One of the participating players Ward Snyder had written a book "Tennis Life" featuring portraits in their own words of some American tour players he had known through many years. Autographed copies of this were purchased by IC Bahamas and presented to all players at the final night Presentation Dinner. The first player featured in the book was Rob Castorri who was playing on the USA Robins team. In his younger days Rob had beaten Boris Becker the year before Becker won his first Wimbledon..... both were still juniors at the time.
Perhaps because of lingering covid concern, and increasingly expensive transatlantic flights, for the first time no European IC teams came. However it was a strong gathering of North American region teams. There were four IC Presidents taking part as players. This included new USA IC President Robb Bunnen, new Canada President Dale Kozicz, Barbados President Peter Symmonds and Bahamas President Kit Spencer. So not only did many players mix and get to know each other, or in many cases renew friendships but it was a good opportunity for these four IC Presidents to get to know each other better and a help in planning future IC events.
Other interesting IC members playing in the event included several former Davis Cup players, Sue Kimball who achieved the no. 1 ITF Ladies World ranking in the 75+ age group last year and Margaret Lumina who at age 54 got on to the WTA Doubles tour and became the oldest "Rookie" ever to do that.
Co-incidentally the winning USA IC Robins team, on their one day off from matches, had been taken by Bahamas IC Member Mike Keating on a tour of Nassau Harbour on his 36 foot sailing boat - perhaps it was an extra early prize for them!
Having hosted two IC Events in two months including this IC Caribbean Doubles Week and The North American IC Rod Laver Junior Challenge The Bahamas IC thanked Winterbotham Trust and The IC Council for financial support that has helped make this possible. The Bahamas is one of the smallest IC’s with a country population of well under 500,000. However it is pleased to have been able to help get IC Events going after covid and looks forward to a quieter time in the next two months !