Australia made it two titles in two quad events in three years at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup when Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson combined to secure a 2-1 victory over Israel on Saturday (2 June) in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.
Davidson had a tough time against London 2012 quad singles gold medallist Noam Gershony in the opening singles rubber, with Gershony earning a 6-1 6-1 win to give Israel the lead. Israel played the same strategy as in their semifinal win against USA, saving former world No. 1 Shraga Weinberg for the doubles and this resulted in Rio 2016 gold medallist Alcott easing through the second singles rubber against Patrick Ben Uriel 6-0 6-0.
With the doubles rubber featuring a match-up between London 2012 quad doubles bronze medallists Gershony and Weinberg and Rio 2016 gold medallists Alcott and Davidson, Australia held a narrow early advantage in the title decider, but Alcott and Davidson broke their opponents to take the lead midway through the first set and opened a two-game advantage at 5-3 before closing out the set after 32 minutes.
The reigning Australia Open champions, who both missed the 2017 World Team Cup through injury, carried their momentum into the second set and needed just another 24 minutes to wrap up a 6-3 6-1 victory.
“It’s a great opportunity to play with one of your best mates and it was great to have Francois [Vogelsberger] there today on the court. We loved it,” said Alcott, whose first experience of the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event with Davidson was in the junior competition, when both were teenagers.
“I enjoyed today much more than I enjoy most tournaments because you can play with one of your mates and represent your country. I’ve had mates Ryan and Gail follow me over from Australia and it meant a lot. And we’ve had great support from Brenda [Tierney] and Mel [Platt - Tennis Australia] and the whole team. It was really good to back it up from 2016.”
Australia won three of five break points and almost twice as many points as Israel throughout the whole doubles match, finishing with a tally of 55 points to Israel’s 29 points.
“I’ve played some good singles, and haven’t quite had the results at times, but when it comes down to the doubles I’m pretty confident that we can get the job done,” said Davidson. “I have full faith in our doubles pairing and I trust Dylan in the singles and I’m sure he trusts me, too. We do our best out there and out best is pretty good.”
USA claimed the bronze medal after a 2-0 victory over last year’s quad champion Great Britain, Bryan Barten beating Antony Cotterill 6-3 6-1 before world No. 1 David Wagner dominated the second singles rubber to defeat world No. 2 Andy Lapthorne 6-1 6-1.
Russia regain World Team Cup junior title
Russia secured a second title on Dutch soil in four years in the BNP Paribas World Team Cup junior event, which has once again been supported in 2018 by ITF Programme Partner the Johan Cruyff Foundation, after to seed beating Brazil 2-0.
With Russia’s previous victory in the junior event having come in 2014, when the BNP Paribas World Team Cup was held in Alphen aan den Rijn, also in Netherlands, this year’s final challenge opened with 17-yer-old Leonid Gubanov, world No. 28 in the boys’ ranking, defeating Maria Fernanda Alves 6-4 4-6 6-2.
Fourteen year-old world No. 5 Sergei Lysov then put the seal on a fine victory, defeating Jucelio da Silva Torquato 6-2 6-2.
“This week I’d hoped for a second victory, because last year was second place and I hoped to see more with the results. My team played very well. Some of our players are four years younger than Brazil’s, so they all showed good ability. It is a dream,” said Russian team captain Olga Murina.
Read more at https://www.itftennis.com/news/286903.aspx#aZRA4Vzv6RrS9b1K.99
*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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