Another gorgeous day in paradise… also known as VillageWalk at Bonita Springs. Just right for the annual Davis Cup hosted by Barbara and Herbert Wormser, the weather could not have been better.
The teams and their respective captains showed up in full force ready to restore world order… or least tennis order in the community. Kicking off the morning’s festivities, the teams were introduced and led on court.
Team Australia led the way with their captain, Declan Fay and Skippy the Kangaroo aka, Sue Hjelle. They were followed by Diana Mayette and Team France with Vivian Passuello as a statuesque Statue of Liberty. Not to be outdone, Jean Calgaro and Team England marched with Her Royal Highness, the Queen of England and Prince Phillip… oddly, Lynn Flayhart and Bill Handworth were nowhere in sight. A shame they missed it. Finally, led by Vera Stec, Team USA made their entrance. Each team stood for their national anthem… at which time Diana Mayette, on behalf of France, presented the Statue of Liberty to the USA with the hope and wishes for Liberty, Freedom and Peace.
With the pomp and pageantry out of the way, the players took to the courts with high hopes of taking their country’s flag to victory. Team rosters indicated terrific parity among the match ups… so everyone anticipated a fight to to the finish.
And parity there was, after the first round of play, France jumped out to an early lead with 36 wins on the board. The USA remained confident posting 33 wins, while the UK remained steady with 31. The Australian team had work to do with 28 wins in hand.
Round two took everyone out of their comfort zone. Australia must of gotten a loud and clear message from Captain Fay. They answered the call with 36 wins on the round. USA and France both held their ground with 32 wins apiece, while Calgaro and the Brits, came up short with just 28 games. It was becoming very clear, even though France was holding a three game edge, this was going to a wild and wooly, no-holds-barred, third round shoot-out.
When the clay had settled, it was all France. Even though Australia had kept up their intensity with another 36 game round, France had answered the call and backed up their first round win with another 36 game round. They edged out Australia by four games…. France 104, Australia 100. The USA and UK would take third and fourth respectively with 93 points to the USA and 87 points for the UK.
With the on-court activity settled, players returned in the evening for the annual banquet. It was the perfect end to a perfect day with an awards ceremony, raffle and a wonderful dinner from our friends at Railhead Cafe. Players relaxed and exchanged stories of what could have been… and maybe, no probably a few little white lies. Either way, hope springs eternal and they’ll get ‘em next year.
Congratulations to Diana Mayette and Team France, and hanks to all who participated. Thanks again to Barbara and Herbert for the Davis Cup and all they do to make tennis at VillageWalk, better!