“It feels amazing going into Roland Garros knowing we are World Team Cup champions.”
Great Britain’s men’s wheelchair tennis team secured a historic first World Group title, while the Netherlands’ women’s team and USA’s quad group extended their dominance at the 30th BNP Paribas World Team Cup – the International Tennis Federation’s flagship event – in Antalya, Turkey on Sunday (31 May).
The British got a huge lift from their young star in 17-year-old Alfie Hewett, who was making his senior debut. The world No. 1 junior beat world No. 11 Michael Jeremiasz, 7-5, 6-1, in the opening singles rubber for his first career victory over the former world No. 1. Teammate and world No. 3 Gordon Reid then defeated world No. 6 Nicolas Peifer, 7-6(5), 6-2, to seal the 2-0 victory for top-seeded Great Britain over defending champion France.
“Making the transition from juniors to seniors and still being able to perform on this stage, it is a very special moment,” Hewett said. “I said at the beginning of the week I thought we could win. It has been great to have maintained that belief and to perform to our potential. It feels unreal.”
Added Reid: “It feels amazing going into Roland Garros knowing we are World Team Cup champions. … It has not sunk in yet.”
Thanks to Adam Kellerman’s dramatic turnaround in his win over No. 7 Takashi Sanada, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3, fourth-seeded Australia claimed the bronze over Japan.
The scene was not new on the women’s side, as the Netherlands captured their 28th World Group title after beating third seed Japan 2-0.
World No. 3 Aniek van Koot held off Japan’s Kanako Domori, 6-3, 6-3. Then No. 2 Jiske Griffioen overcame world No. 1 Yui Kamiji, 6-4, 6-3, to secure the Netherlands’ victory.
Fourth seed Great Britain improved on their seeded position to claim the bronze medal after a 2-0 win over second seed Germany.
The USA extended their record as the most successful nation in the history of the quad World Group at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup after winning their ninth title with a 2-1 victory over Japan.
The final saw USA and Japan go head-to-head for the third time in the last two World Team Cups after Japan reached the title decider.
Shota Kawano beat Nick Taylor, 6-4, 6-0, to give Japan the lead. But world No. 1 David Wagner put the USA level after his 6-0, 6-1 victory over Mitsuteru Moroishi.
With the title decided in a doubles rubber, three-time Paralympic champions Taylor and Wagner paired up to beat Kawano and Moroishi, 6-2, 6-4, for a third USA quad title in Antalya since 2010.
“This was a really tight final,” said Bryan Barten, one of Taylor and Wagner’s teammates. “We were not happy with our results last year and we worked hard to get back on this stage and showed what we can do as a team.”
Israel, runner-up to the USA in Antalya in both 2010 and 2013, took the bronze medal after a 3-0 victory over Italy.
Find completed results of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup at the ITF’s website.