April 2016

My Friend Abe. by Gordon Forbes.

Abe died in Cape Town on the night of 4th April 2016, with his devoted friend, Deborah Curtis Setchell, at his bedside. Abe and I met 63 years ago in the locker-room of the Ellis Park tennis courts, when he came over to my corner and chided me for being too quiet. ’Don’t they make noise on that farm of yours, Kid?’ I was 19 and he 22, and we have been friends and doubles partners ever since. There’ll never be another Abe. They talk of breaking the mould, well, his mould was well and truly broken! Such a good man. Generous, forthright, strong, big-hearted, loyal, compassionate – a rough diamond, with the diamond part flawless, and the rough part filled with the unique kind of humour that made his friends laugh in amazement, while at the same time shaking their heads at the fun of it!

Only a few weeks ago, on a still evening in Plettenberg Bay, we sat together, looking at the sea, yakking away, and sipping the whiskies that Tony Bloom had poured for us. Lately, we’ve talked nearly every week, being able to say the same things more than once, because we both forgot what we said the week before. Suddenly, though, this time, towards the end of the evening, he touched his glass to mine and said, ‘Cheers, Forbsey. We’ve had a great time, but the game’s over. Thanks for everything.’ Maybe he had some kind of premonition, for I know he wasn’t feeling well.... But he never complained. In all the time I have known Abe, I have never, ever, heard him complain. Not once. And he was thanking me! I ask you! It was I who should have....

He was a great tennis-player, was Abe. Look at his results over the years, and one is fully amazed! For a start, he had one of the best left-hand serves of all time – fine volleys, safe backhand and a huge forehand that sometimes went off at a tangent and ran amuck. I still remember the time at Roland Garros when he hit a forehand into the President’s Box without a bounce. It hit one of the officials in the chest, while the base-linesman triumphantly called “Out”! Or the time, on the Wimbledon Centre Court, playing Rex Hartwig, when Rex tried to run around his serve to hit a forehand. The ball simply followed him, until he had to catch it with his left hand, in front of his chest. Abe’s serve used to swerve like mad, especially the second one. And what about the lineswoman at Wimbledon who had too much wine for lunch and was asleep when Abe, playing Clark Graebner, won the match-point? ‘Clark’s game is kinda boring, Forbsey,’ he told me. ‘So I guess she’s entitled to take a nap.’ Odd things happened to Abe almost continually – things that never failed to amuse the millions of people all over the world that loved him.

For instance, suddenly, aged sixty-nine, he became a painter, surprising everyone (including himself) when his paintings were exhibited at The Everard Read Gallery. Even here, Abe was unorthodox. Always impatient, he’d invented a way of turning his canvasses upside down, so as to do his skies without disturbing the still wet scenery below. Although, in my speech, I warned the Read Gallery patrons that the skies on the paintings were all upside down, they bought every last one. ‘A sky’s a sky, Forbsey,’ was Abe’s comment. ‘I’ve never seen one with a lable sayin’ “this side up.”

Thus Abie. I could go on and on, and I am sure that I speak also for his daughters, Nancy and Susie, his wonderful wife, Heather, who died some years ago, and his friend, companion and helpmate, Deborah. I can’t believe I’ll never hear his voice again. Never again have him walk across the court to my side, cup his hand and say, ‘for God’s sake, Forbsey, can you please stop bein’ nervous, grip your racket and watch the friggin’ ball!’ A part of my life, and, I am sure, a good many other lives, will go with Abe. We wish him a good rest, and salute him for a game well played, and a life well lived.




19 October 2015


At a great weekend at the German Club in Johannesburg, teams from Africa battled to be the first IC Junior team team to qualify for The Compass Worldwide IC Finals in Monte Carlo next year. It was the host nation, South Africa who emerged as the winner - congrats to the team Jordan Sauer, Joshua Howard-Tripp, Zani Barnard and Lee Barnard.

Along with the Challenge a memorable clinic was held for disadvantaged children conducted by Mike Lelosa and his coaches.



South Africa will again be hosting the Africa leg of the IC Junior Challenge in Johannesburg this year from 25-27 October.   Other world regions are in the process of finalizing their competitions – below is a photograph of the winners of the European Junior Challenge. Italy beat Spain in a thrilling final (8 countries participated)  which saw the matches at 3 all and Italy winning the  mixed doubles   tie-break to win– see the press release below.


4th April 2012

We are happy to advise the following winners in the draw for Wimbledon tickets:

Demetri Caripi
Richard Ballance
Wendy Alves

Thanks to everyone who participated!

January 2012

The International Club South Africa (ICSA) is proud to announce that the South African U/17 tennis team has won the IC Junior Challenge Worldwide Finals held in Adelaide, Australia, from 9th – 13th January.  The other countries competing in the tournament were Australia, USA, India, Germany and Argentina, each representing their continent in the world finals.  The South African team was the only team unbeaten during the Round Robin tournament, and emerged victorious after beating Germany in the final round.

“We are absolutely delighted with this result and are very proud of the team. They have shown great competitive spirit and upheld the IC values of good sportsmanship and camaraderie, while competing at an international level.  Congratulations also to Lyn Kiro for winning the IC Sportsmanship Award. Well done!” commented Leonie Grondel, chairperson of ICSA.

The South African team, selected by the SA Tennis Association and  consisting of Matthew Roussouw, Theo Ferreira,  Ilze Hattingh and Lyn Kiro, qualified for this tournament by winning the IC Africa Junior Challenge in September last year.  The IC Junior Worldwide Finals are held every second year. The ICSA is one of 38 International Clubs worldwide whose aims and objectives are to foster friendship and sportsmanship in international tennis. 


The final placings were as follows:

1.South Africa     2. Argentina    3 Germany     4.USA      5. India     6. Australia

South Africa’s results as follows:

Day 5   vs         Germany         won     5-1

Day 4   vs         USA                won     6-1

Day 3   vs         Argentina        won     5-1

Day 2   vs         India                won     5-1

Day 1   vs         Australia          won     5-1