Spain’s wheelchair tennis players won the men’s event at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup European Qualification for the second time since 2014 in Vilamoura, Portugal, on Sunday (15 April). Great Britain also earned a dramatic late-night victory in the doubles rubber of the women’s decider after a rain-hit final day of play.
Both teams will now contest the men’s and women’s events at the wheelchair tennis 2018 World Team Cup finals in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, between 28 May and 3 June.
Top seed Spain finished the men’s event without dropping a set in four ties, defeating third seed Israel 2-0 in the final.
Due to the delayed start to the day’s competition, both singles rubbers were played simultaneously on adjacent courts. World No. 19 Martin de la Puente beat Israel’s Guy Sasson 6-0, 6-3 and world No. 14 Daniel Caverzaschi achieved a 6-1, 6-1 win over Adam Berdichevsky.
Spain will go on to contest the men’s event at the World Team Cup finals for the 27th time.
Great Britain beat Russia* in late-night women’s doubles decider
Top seed Great Britain and second seed Russia came into their crucial fourth rubber with three 3-0 wins apiece against Austria, Belgium and Sweden.
In the final, British player and world No. 8 Lucy Shuker beat Russian No. 1 Viktoriia Lvova 6-3, 6-1, while Ludmila Bubnova defeated Louise Hunt 7-5, 6-3 to ensure a tense conclusion.
Further rain meant that the deciding doubles finished under floodlights shortly after midnight, with Hunt and Shuker holding off Lvova and Polina Shakirova 7-5, 6-1.
Great Britain will now contest the women’s event at the World Team Cup finals for the 26th time.
Full results are available on the ITF’s website.
*Editor's note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games.
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