24 Sep 2012

A ceremony and feast fit for fun

News Article

Photo: Srdjan StevanovicOpening ceremony - Juniors Davis Cup and Fed Cup 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN: The Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals is the crown jewel of the ITF junior tournament schedule every year. It is much more than just a team tennis competition; it’s an important social and cultural experience for all the junior participants that have come to Barcelona from 21 different countries.

The emphasis is for the kids to have fun, and meet and mingle with their counterparts from other countries. And, of course, it’s an opportunity for the players to test their skills against other talented juniors.

From the beginning -- even before the first competitive tennis ball is hit -- the design is to make sure this 28th Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup tournament, being held at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona, has an international and party flavour.

Some of the staging was very reminiscent of what you see take place at an Olympics.

It all starts with the Opening Ceremony where the juniors march onto the court behind someone holding a placard introducing their country. For the Latvian Fed Cup squad this was a first ever appearance in this tough to qualify for final competition.

It was a little warm even though it was late afternoon, but all the juniors wore their country track suit tops -- some kept to shorts instead of pants -- and made their way on court.

There were a few speeches before Marcello Tebetsch, a player from Brazil, read the Players’ Oath in English -- just like an Olympic athlete is seen doing. He read it well, not missing an English pronunciation even thought Portuguese is his native language.

Lucy Garvin, a past USTA president and currently the ITF’s Chairman of the Junior Committee, then declared “the 28th Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas open".

But don’t think the festivities were over. Far from it. Part of the week-long tournament is entertainment and this evening following the Opening Ceremony the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona put on a fabulous barbecue for the teams. The smell of barbecue wafted in the air as the teams patiently lined up for a feast that included chicken, Butifarra (a regional sausage from Cataluna) and lamb chops.

And the music piped in clearly would suit any of these teens iPod playlist.

Click the links below to view live streaming, scores, draws and results.

> Live scores

A list of participating teams can be found here. By clicking on a team you can see which players have been nominated for that team.

The tournament overview page can be found here.

Updates of the draws and results will appear > here.