The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced details of the regional qualifying events for the 2017 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event. The main event will be hosted across two venues, Baia di Conte and Alghero Tennis Club, both in Sardinia, Italy on 1-7 May 2017.
This is the third time that the BNP Paribas World Team Cup will be staged in Italy after Tremosine hosted the 2002 event and the 2008 event was held in Cremona.
The BNP Paribas World Team Cup, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015, is the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis event, often referred to as the Davis and Fed Cups of wheelchair tennis. The initial event took place in California in 1985 involving six men’s teams. The women’s competition began the following year, with quad and junior events introduced in 1998 and 2000 respectively. Due to the increased number of teams wanting to take part, the ITF introduced regional qualifying for the men’s and women’s events in 2012.
Over 80 teams from around 40 countries will take part in the 2017 competition. Four regional qualifying events will determine the four men’s and four women’s teams to join the direct entries in the finals in Sardinia, with two wild cards also awarded for the men’s event, which will consist of just one World Group in 2017. In Sardinia, teams will contest the men’s World Group (16 nations), women’s World Group (12 nations), quad event (8 teams) and junior event (8 teams).
The current list of dates and venues is as follows:
16-19 February: Africa Qualification – Nairobi Club, Nairobi, Kenya
26 February - 1 March: Asian Qualification – Sri Lanka Tennis Association, Colombo, Sri Lanka
8-11 March: Americas Qualification – Quito Tennis and Golf Club, Quito, Ecuador
21-25 March: European Qualification – Vilamoura Tennis, Vilamoura, Portugal
1-7 May: Finals – Baia di Conte and Alghero Tennis Club, Sardinia, Italy
BNP Paribas has been the event’s title sponsor since 2012, and has since extended its sponsorship through 2021 as part of its overall agreement with the ITF.
ITF President David Haggerty said: “We are pleased to see the continued evolution of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup, which is the most prestigious team competition on the ITF’s wheelchair tennis calendar. The competition enters a new era in 2017 with just one men’s World Group, which will allow more venues and nations to be in a position to host the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in the future. The ITF is delighted that the main event will be staged for the third time in Italy after two successful events in 2002 and 2008.”