France has captured the European Tennis Trophy for Overall Performance for a sixth time, retaining the title to spend a second successive year atop the league table of Tennis Europe’s 50 member nations.
The key to France’s overall victory was once again down to strong performances in all the contributing categories in 2017, with the nation retaining the Professional Tennis Trophy and appearing in the Top 5 of all other contributing categories - Junior, Senior and Wheelchair Tennis.
Victory over Belgium in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final at the end of the season ensured that France would pip Russia to pole position in overall performance for the second year running. The win also ensured a decisive victory in terms of Professional Tennis, which saw France earn over 1,000 more points than second-placed Germany.
Much of the Overall Top 10 remains unchanged, with Germany swapping places with Czech Republic in third and fourth, followed by Spain, Great Britain and Italy. Ukraine makes waves, rising five spots to eighth – its best ever finish, thanks largely to a stellar year in Junior Tennis, while Belgium’s strong performances in international team events helps the nation rise from 16th to 9th.
The biggest surprise of the 2017 awards sees Great Britain end the Netherlands’ 16-year dominance of the Wheelchair Tennis Trophy, which it had won every year since the discipline was first included in 2001. Britain has been steadily challenging for the top spot in recent years – even finishing joint first in 2015 – but strode ahead in 2017 thanks to strong performances at the World Team Cup and notable advances in the world rankings. In the end, Britain’s major rival for the title turned out to be France, with the two nations finishing over 100 points clear of 3rd-placed Netherlands.
There were no such surprises in the other two contributing categories, as Germany sailed to the Senior Tennis Trophy for a 27th time, scoring three times as many points as perennial runner-up Austria. The Junior Tennis Trophy went to Russia for a record seventh consecutive year. As has become the norm, strong performances across Tennis Europe’s flagship junior team events saw Russia dominate the junior category, earning almost double the points of second placed Czech Republic. Other notable performances came from Ukraine (up to third, scoring a record 1,221 points), Belarus (climbing 11 spots to 11th) and Sweden (up 14 to 14th).
Returning to overall performance, and several nations have reason to celebrate, with notable improvements on their 2016 standings. Belarus leads the way, climbing seven spots to finish the year just outside of the Top 10. Sweden (#19), Bulgaria (#21), Israel (#25), Portugal (#26) and Bosnia & Herzegovina (#30) also all climbed four or more sports. Apart from Overall winners France, Spain was the only nation to appear in the Top 10 of all four contributing categories.
Announcing the results, Tennis Europe President Vladimir Dmitriev said, “I would like to congratulate all of our member nations on another very successful year for European tennis. Every point earned in the European Tennis Trophy represents not just the achievements of players and teams, but also the performances of coaches, administrators and federation staff across the continent. Our winners can point to their victories as evidence that the policies and programs carried out by each hardworking federation are paying dividends, and we look forward to another year of competition, cooperation and camaraderie in European tennis in 2018.”
French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli commented, “I am of course delighted to receive this award from Tennis Europe. It rewards and highlights all day-to-day work of our federation from each club to the national Technical Department, without forgetting the regions that are very involved in the training of our players. It is a source of pride that this title is obtained in the region in which more than two-thirds of world tennis is concentrated, and whose constituent countries engage in remarkable work. More than ever we must defend and promote the work of the federations and the volunteers who run them. It is to them that I dedicate and share this award.”
Glenn Earlam, CEO David Lloyd Leisure remarked; “Many congratulations to France for once again scooping Tennis Europe’s much coveted trophy for Overall Performance. 2017 has been yet another fantastic year for European tennis and standards have been high. We are delighted to be associated with such a prestigious award.”
Established to recognise and reward the annual achievements of Tennis Europe’s member nations, the European Tennis Trophy considers the performances of players and teams representing national tennis federations across four disciplines of the sport throughout the season. The awards will be presented at a special ceremony during the Annual General Meeting of Tennis Europe in Budapest in March.
Results by Nation 1-50 | Results by Nation A-Z | Results by Category
For a detailed explanation of how the points are calculated, please click here.