For the first time, the BNP Paribas World Team Cup will come to Japan. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) made the announcement Thursday (18 June), also making it just the second time that the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event will be held in Asia.
The 2016 BNP Paribas World Team Cup will be hosted by the Japan Tennis Association (JTA) at the Ariake Colosseum from 23-28 May 2016 in Tokyo. The last time the event was held in Asia was in 2012 in Seoul, South Korea.
The Ariake Colosseum will also be the venue for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic tennis events and regularly stages the Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties, in addition to the Japan Open ATP event.
“Japan has a long tradition of wheelchair tennis and has produced some of the sport’s most recognisable stars,” ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said. “The World Team Cup is the most prestigious team competition on the ITF’s wheelchair tennis calendar, and we are pleased to see its continued growth.”
The BNP Paribas World Team Cup, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015, is 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. More than 100 teams from around 50 countries take part in the competition each year, with regional qualifying held for the men’s and women’s events.
Japan has a long tradition in wheelchair tennis, with the first wheelchair tennis programme introduced in 1984. The JTA has been one of the most active federations in the development of the sport, producing several leading players, including current ITF Wheelchair World Champions Shingo Kunieda and Yui Kamiji. Japan’s men’s team is a two-time winner of the World Team Cup.
“Japan is a long-time supporter of ITF wheelchair tennis, and the World Team Cup will provide a chance to showcase the players’ talents before the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games,” said Nao Kawatei, Chairman of the JTA International Committee.
For more information on the 2016 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, please visit the ITF’s website.