Reigning men’s champions France defeated Sweden 2-1, whilst China began its quest to reach their second successive women’s final with a 3-0 win over Kenya, on Monday’s (1 May) enthralling first day of competition at the wheelchair tennis World Team Cup in Alghero, Italy.
World No.6 Stefan Olsson’s 6-3, 7-5 victory over France’s world No.5 Nicolas Peifer was not enough to secure the win for Sweden in the first rubber in Pool A.
Frenchman Frederic Cattaneo defeated Henrik Harstedt 6-0, 6-0, whilst Stephane Houdet-Peifer beat Harstedt-Olsson 6-1, 6-0 in the deciding doubles to give France the overall 2-1 victory.
Brazil achieved a much-celebrated 2-1 victory over Australia after Daniel Rodrigues and Carlos Santos beat Keegan Oh-Chee and Ben Weekes 6-3, 6-3 in the doubles.
The Pool D contest between Argentina and Netherlands saw reigning Roland Garros champion and world No. 4 Gustavo Fernandez defeating world No. 8 Maikel Scheffers 6-3, 6-3.
That gave Argentina an unassailable lead against the Netherlands after Agustin Ledesma won the first singles against Carlos Anker 6-1, 6-2. Fernandez and Ledesma then went on to make it a 3-0 victory for their country in the doubles.
Daniel Caverzaschi and Martin de la Puente secured an early 2-1 victory for fifth seed Spain over Belgium, also in Pool D, as they combined to beat the experienced partnership of Rio 2016 Paralympic bronze medallist and world No. 3 Joachim Gerard and Gert Vos.
Whilst China began its bid to reach the women’s final for the second successive year with a 3-0 win over Kenya in Pool B, it was the Pool C tie between USA and Italy that attracted the attention.
Marianna Lauro gave the host nation the lead after beating Mackenzie Soldan 6-4, 6-0, but Giulia Capocci’s World Team Cup debut ended in a 6-2, 6-1 loss to Dana Mathewson.
The US players joined forces to clinch the deciding match tiebreak in the thrilling doubles for a 4-6, 6-2, 10-7 victory.
Thailand defeated seventh seed Russia 2-1. Former world No. 6 Sakhorn Khanthasit won her singles rubber and partnered Wanitha Inthanin to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Ludmila Bubnova and Viktoriia Lvova in Pool A.
Switzerland’s Nalani Buob and Karin Suter-Erath also gained an important doubles win in Pool D.
After exchanging honours in the singles rubbers against Chile’s Francisca Mardones and Macarena Cabrillana, Buob and Suter-Erath wrapped up the doubles 7-5, 6-2 to give their country the 2-1 victory.
China’s Huimin Huang and Zhenzhen Zhu comfortably overcame Kenya, the winner of the African Qualification earlier this year. They dropped a total of just two games, one in each singles, against Jane Ndenga and Phoebe Masika.
Full story can be read on the International Tennis Federation’s website.