This Japanese Friendship Cup was promoted by the Japan Senior Tennis Association with all expenses subsidized by Mr. Suzuki. It has been held five times in the past, 1997, 99, 2000, 2002, & 2006!
There were Men’s 80, 70, and 60’s and Women’s 80, 70, 60, & 50 doubles teams! My partner Marion Tyrell and I played 1 team from Thailand and 5 Teams from Japan. We won every match in 3 sets! I presume we won because the younger age teams played some real World Champions, but our age group were local club players.
I spoke as a representative of the USA and winner, to the 154 players and members, thanking our hosts for their gracious generosity, and warmth, which was a fitting tribute to Mr. Suzuki’s philosophy to promote health, good will and world peace through tennis!
I presented our USA team coordinator, Shizue Iwai, a dvd of documentary film on Senior Tennis by Alex Rappoport made in 2003 at Houston Nationals.
As we left on the tour bus, we were treated to a rendition of Auld Lang Syne in Japanese, sung by the president of the Japanese Tennis Club, who was also my opponent at the last day’s Mixed doubles match! It was a fitting send off for our further adventure in Japan!