Recently, the Monegasque Tennis Federation celebrated an important anniversary. At 90, the group is doing very well and continues to earn admiration. Launched as the first Lawn Tennis Federation in Monegasque, its first statutes (presented by Major Henley, its first president, and Émile Riey, its first vice-president) were approved on 21 May, 1927. It then brought together the Condamine tennis club of Jacques Reymond, the Festa tennis club of George Pierce Butler, the sports association of the Monaco high school of Mr. Riley and the sports and recreational association of the bank employees of Mr. Gaminbey. The new association aimed to regroup these four clubs of the Principality which then had six, then quickly thereafter, 9 courts. They then had to organize and develop the practice of tennis in Monaco. Chaired first by Major Henley, from 1927 to 1934, then by Maurice Schlegel from 1934 to 1965, and by Louis Caravel from 1965 to 1988, the Baroness Elizabeth-Ann de Massy has chaired the FMT since 1988.
Determination is the best guarantor of the future of the Monegasque association, which currently comprises four clubs: the Monte-Carlo Country Club and its some 2,000 members, the International lawn Tennis Club of Monaco, the Sports Association of Public Safety and the Monte-Carlo Tennis Club. Under the high patronage of the Sovereign, the FMT has regularly contributed to the highest international tennis bodies by hosting the annual general meeting of the International Federation in 1988 and 1976, its spring session in 1997, and its governing body, in 2000 and 2002. Thanks to the help of the Monaco government, the municipality and the Monegasque Olympic Committee, FMT today has managed to regroup more than 2,060 graduates, or nearly 6% of the total population of the country (By comparison, in France they represent 1.5%).
77 Davis Cups
FMT also organizes international events such as the 1st World Under-14 and 12-year olds championships, the 1982 European Team Championships in 1991, and the Austria Cup, the world championships of veteran teams of +55, in 1992. The Monegasque federation was very soon affiliated with the international federation, thus giving itself the right to participate in the Davis Cup, the Queen’s race. It started in 1929, with 29 nations involved that year. They are 134 today and Monaco always faithfully attends. The Principality has participated in 77 Davis Cup events to date, representing a total of 149 matches, including 56 at home and 93 abroad. It competed against 59 countries and the Monegasque team won 68 victories, with 81 defeats. The current Principality team is in Group III of the Euro-African zone for the 2017-2018 season.
This record is more than honourable, and we owe it to a family of 40 players, of which 8 are now absent, who have put their heart into representing their country, during those some 657 games since the very start. Happy anniversary and long live the Monegasque Tennis Federation!