European Summer Cups - History
The European Summer Cups events have a long and proud history - some pre-date the founding of Tennis Europe, whilst others originated in the 1970s when the organisation (then known as the 'European Tennis Association') aimed to provide more opportunities for junior players to compete in team competitions throughout the year (this period also giving rise to the 'Tennis Europe Winter Cups', a comparable event held indoors during the winter).
When Tennis Europe was founded in 1975, the European National Associations had already a few International team competitions at their disposal where their most promising young players could compete: The Galea and Soisbault Cups for the 21 & under, the Valerio and Princess Sofia Cups for the 18 & Under and the Jean Becker Cup for the 16 & under boys. The Junior Committee soon acknowledged the need to establish an event for 16 & under girls, and also for both sexes at 14 & under, all of which was done in the following five years. The "European Summer Cups" comprise these various team competitions, which form one of the highlights of the summer months.
European Summer Cups (18 & Under)
There are two events in this age category; the Galea/Valerio Cup (for Boys) and the Reina/Soisbault Cup (Girls), all of which have their own histories. The Valerio Cup, a tribute to Vasco Valerio, Italian Davis Cup captain of 1968/1969 was created in 1970 by the Italian Tennis Federation, while the Edmond de Galéa Cup dates back to 1950, when Madame de Galéa created the U21 event, the first Summer Cup for Junior Teams. Due to the evolution of age limits and the changing face of the contemporary game, and also to safeguard the status of these events in an ever-increasingly crowded calendar, the decision was taken in 1991 to merge the two events, which are now alternated between the two original organising National Associations, France and Italy. The events have since been recognised as European Junior Team Championships.
The Reina/Soisbault Cup has seen a similar evolution. The first edition of the Cup Annie Soisbault de Montaigu was played in 1965, when it was first offered by Marquise Annie Soisbault de Montaigu as the corresponding Cup for the girls to the Galéa Cup. The Soisbault Cup was created in 1972 under the name Princess Sofia Cup and was renamed in 1980. For the reasons outlined above, the events were merged in 1991, and have since been rotated between the original organising National Associations, France and Spain.
European Summer Cups (16 & Under)
Following a separate agreement reached between the International Tennis Federation and Tennis Europe, the European Summer Cups 16 & Under have, since 1991, served as European Qualifying Event for the Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas & Junior Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas competitions. There are two events in this age category, the Borotra Cup (for Boys) and the European Summer Cup (Girls), formerly known as the Helvetie Cup.
European Summer Cups (14 & Under)
As a result of an agreement reached between the International Tennis Federation and Tennis Europe, the European Summer Cups 14 & Under are considered as the official European Qualifying Event of the World Junior Tennis Competition. There are two events in this age category, the Copa del Sol (for Boys) and the Europa Cup (Girls).
European Summer Cups (12 & Under)
In 2022, the event formerly known as Tennis Europe Nations Challenge was brought under the Summer Cups umbrella, becoming the 12 & Under category of the competition.