World Team Cup: Japan claim first quad title18.05.2019
Hosts Israel have to settle for the second place in Ramat Hasharon
Japan upset hosts Israel to take their first World Team Cup wheelchair tennis quad title in Ramat Hasharon on Friday.
London 2012 gold medallist Noam Gershony gave the home crowd a reason to celebrate as he defeated Shota Kawano 6-0, 6-4 to win the first match. However, former world No. 1 Shraga Weinberg lost to world No. 3 Koji Sugeno 6-2, 6-3 and the tie had to be decided in the doubles.
Sugeno joined forces with Mitsuteru Moroishi and, showing great form, beat the Israeli pair of Gershony and Weinberg 6-4, 6-2.
It is the first time that Japan win the World Team Cup since the quad event was included in 1998, while denying Israel the chance to emerge as champions for a fifth time.
France and Great Britain to decide men’s winner
The British team is still en route to winning the men’s World Team Cup title again after four years, following a 2-0 victory over defending champions Japan.
World No. 7 Gordon Reid beat No. 9 Takashi Sanada 6-4, 7-5 to give Great Britain the first point of the day. In the second match, No. 5 Alfie Hewett sprang a surprise by beating No. 1 Shingo Kunieda also 6-4, 7-5 and qualify for the final.
A deciding doubles rubber was needed for the semi-final between France and Argentina. Nicolas Peifer had no issues in defeating Ezequiel Casco 6-0, 6-0; but Gustavo Fernandez beat Stephane Houdet 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 to make it 1-1.
Paralympic champions Houdet and Peifer, however, then defeated Fernandez and Agustin Ledesma 6-1, 6-0 to advance into the gold medal-match.
In the women’s final, Netherlands will play against Japan on Saturday.
Selected matches are being live streamed on the International Paralympic Committee homepage.