World Team Cup Americas qualifier kicks off

Seven teams from five countries line up in Orlando 29 Jan 2019
three male wheelchair tennis players and another man with their arms around eachother on a hard court

Chile are hoping to topple USA in the men's Americas qualifier for the World Team Cup

ⒸAlexander Cataldo

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus at Lake Nona, Orlando, will welcome the World Team Cup Americas Qualification for the second year in a row between 29 January and 1 February.

Seven teams from five countries will compete in the men’s and women’s draws, with the winners earning qualification for the World Team Cup Finals, set to be held in Israel for the first time from 13-18 May.

The USA top the seeding for the men’s event as Casey Ratzlaff, Conner Stroud and Jason Keatseangsilp bid to help the hosts to victory for a second successive year. Ratzlaff won a thrilling three-set contest in the decisive second singles rubber of the 2018 final as USA defeated Chile.

On paper, second seed Chile look set to be the biggest threat again to another US victory as Alexander Cataldo, Jaime Sepulveda and Brayan Tapia line up for their country. World No. 22 Cataldo is the highest ranked men’s singles player ahead of world No. 29 Ratzlaff.

The five-strong men’s field is completed by Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico, with the five countries beginning the men’s event in one round-robin pool of three countries and one pool of two countries. The winners of each pool will go forward to Friday’s final.

Colombia and Mexico are the two women’s teams that will bid to earn World Team Cup qualification this week. The two countries will go head-to-head over three days of competition.

World No. 55 Johana Martinez was a member of Colombian teams that earned victory in the women’s event at both the 2014 and 2015 Americas Qualifications. Martinez will play alongside Johanna Sossa.

Claudia Taboada and Rosalba Vazquez Ramos will represent Mexico in Lake Nona.

This is the first of four regional qualification events, with the next being the African Qualification in Nairobi, Kenya, from 14-17 February.