ITF World Champions Dinner

Wow, the ITF has done it again; Barbara Travers and her wonderful staff along with the Federation Francaise de Tennis, have created another spectacular World Champions Dinner. Each year you think, “nothing can top this” and each year they come up with another wonderful evening.

The Pavillon d’Armenonville, a Belle-Époque style 18th century hunting lodge is the perfect setting, located in the lush Bois de Boulogne, overlooking beautiful gardens and fountains.

Photographers gather at the entrance waiting for the glitterati of the tennis world to arrive in the official Peugeot cars. Like a Hollywood premiere, photographer’s strobes flash as the who’s who of tennis step out of the cars.

The guests move into a reception room where they are greeted by waiters offering Moet & Chandon champagne. The room is a buzz with conversation and networking. Open bars serving whatever you’d like, and beautiful Hors d’oeuvres start the evenings festivities.

The dining room is decorated in red and white, with a rose theme. White chairs with red velvet seat cushions, tables with crisp white linen, red napkins with a rose brocade pattern, white china, gorgeous red rose centerpieces, the whole effect is  breathtaking.

The menu, food and wine, were of course, wonderful. Starting with the delish Black Pepper Crab in a Radish Ravioli, a main course Duet of Val served with Asparagus and Risotto Fregola, and ending with a fabulous Milk Chocolate Crater with Apricots, Macadamia nuts and Caramel ice cream, each served with the appropriate wine, this was a dinner to please the most discriminating palate.

Last but not least, were the awards. First was Novak Djokovic, the World Champion men’s singles winner. With no time to change Nola in white warm ups, came straight from his five set victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Along with the warm ups Dj wore a huge smile having saved four match by the Frenchman and finally getting the win.

On the women’s side, it was Petra Kvitova looking smashing in a black and gold cocktail dress. With her long blond hair loose, and makeup highlighting bigblue eyes, you would never recognize her as the tough on court competitor you normally see on court.

In the doubles category, the Bryan brothers claimed another trophy, but the real star of their evening was Bob and Michelle’s new daughter Micaela. This beauty already has a page full of stamps in her passport, and knows how to conduct herself at a formal dinner. She behaved like a trooper during the dinner, and posed without complaint for photographers.

The women’s doubles team of Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik arrived late, also in warm ups after a tough three set loss in the quarter-final. Too bad, as this was to be their big night, but they were gracious and smiling and proud of their 2011 accomplishments.

Additional honorees included, boys and girls singles, Jiri Vesely, and Irina Khromacheva, wheelchair winners, Esther Vergeer and Maikel Scheffers.

Lorne Main was given the first ever award for outstanding achievement in seniors tennis, and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, in a long white satin gown, was the Philippe Chatrier Award recipient.

The invitations states “Carriages At Midnight”. I love this old fashioned way of stating that they will transport you back to your hotel at the witching hour.

So ends one more great evening in Paris, tomorrow it’s back to work and I won’t be having Moet Chandon before dinner.

O’dourve table ITF World Champions Dinner

Table setting ITF World Champions Dinner

Novak Djokovic

Petra Kvitova

Bob, Micaela Mike Bryan ITF World Champions Dinner

Bob, Micaela, Michelle, Bryan ITF World Champions Dinner

Francisco Ricci Bitti, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario

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