France, Netherlands, Great Britain win World Team Cup titles

France won its sixth men’s World Group title, Netherlands clinched its 27th women’s World Group title and Great Britain won the quad event for the fourth time as the 2014 BNP Paribas World Team Cup drew to a close on Sunday (1 June). 02 Jun 2014
Two women in wheelchairs look at each other smiling on a grass tennis court.

The Netherlands' Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot celebrate a doubles victory at the 2013 Wimbledon wheelchair tennis tournament.

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“It was a real team effort this week and we’ve all played our part and played some fantastic tennis."

Top seed France won a third successive men’s World Group title after Nicolas Peifer and Stephane Houdet won both singles rubbers in the final in straight sets to defeat host nation and second seed Netherlands 2-0.

World No. 9 Peifer defeated Tom Egberink 6-2 6-2, whilst world No. 2 Houdet beat world No. 6 Maikel Scheffers 6-3 6-2.

“The most important thing today was managing the wind. There was quite a lot of wind on the court, so the situation changed every time we had to switch sides. That was very difficult.” said Houdet. “Also, I kept hitting different kinds of serves to keep him off balance and I attacked his backhand with high top spin balls. He doesn't like that very much. But you have to be very careful with those balls, because he can hit great winners.

“I knew it would be the third cup in a row, but I didn't want to think about that. That is not how I want to approach matches. I approach the game like they often do in golf. You just have to focus on playing well, on making the good shots. If you do that, the results will come.” added Houdet, formerly a leading player on the European amputee golf circuit.

Great Britain beat Japan 2-1 in the bronze medal match.

Netherlands retains women’s World Group title

The most competitive women’s World Group final for many a year saw Britain‘s world No. 10 Lucy Shuker beat Dutch world No. 6 Marjolein Buis in the opening rubber 4-6 6-0 6-3.

With 26 titles in 28 previous World Team Cup women’s events, Netherlands called on all its experience to bounce back. World No. 3 Aniek van Koot beat world No. 5 Jordanne Whiley 6-4 6-1 to force a doubles deciders which Van Koot and Buis won 6-4 6-1.

“It was pretty good tennis. After Marjolein lost the singles I was actually quite calm going on court, which I really enjoyed,” said van Koot. “For the doubles I was a bit shaky, but Marjolein kept on smiling and kept on really motivating me and that really helped.

"We are here as a team and together with (Captain) Hans-Jurgen Striek we figured out a plan. If you have a plan and it works it’s a very good feeling, but congratulations to Great Britain, they played a great match.”

Japan won the women’s bronze medal for the second successive year after being awarded a walkover against Germany, who had two players unable to play on the last day due to injury and illness.

Great Britain claim fourth quad title

Great Britain claimed gold for the fourth time in the quad event defeating defending champions USA 2-1.

Beijing Paralympic medallist Burdekin gave Great Britain a winning start, getting the better of world No.9 Nick Taylor 6-0 6-1 but when Lapthorne renewed his old rivalry with David Wagner, the world No.1 came out on top 6-1 6-0.

That took the tie into a deciding doubles match where Burdekin and Lapthorne made a fantastic start against Wagner and Taylor, taking the first set 6-1. But the Americans showed their strength to come back and clinch the second 6-2 to force a match tie-break. After a tense affair and some crucial aces from the duo, the Brits came through 6-1, 2-6, (10-7).

Lapthorne said, “It’s fantastic to win the title again and before we’ve won it with Peter Norfolk in our team but it’s great to see we can still do it now he has retired with our current team.

“It was a real team effort this week and we’ve all played our part and played some fantastic tennis. It’s always an honour to represent your country and my success this week has been helped by the amazing support we get from the Tennis Foundation and UK Sport through our National Lottery funding.”

Russia crowned junior winners

In the junior event Russia won its first title defeating Spain, a remarkable achievement after they suffered a 3-0 loss to the Spaniards earlier in the week.

Victories for Ildus Shaikhislamov in the singles and Viktoriia Lvova and Artur Saitgareev in the doubles ensured a 2-1 win for the Russians.

“I am very proud of my team. For Ildus it is his first World Team Cup and he has not played many tournaments outside of Russia. Going into the final I didn’t know if they had more than a 30 per cent chance of winning, but they have all been strong,” said Russia’s captain Olga Murina.

The Netherlands took the bronze for the second successive year with a 2-1 win over the USA.