World Team Cup kicks off in Italy

Three of the four men’s and women’s wheelchair tennis pool ties went to deciding doubles rubbers on the first day of competition in Alghero. 02 May 2017
Dana Mathewson - USA - wheelchair tennis

USA's wheelchair tennis player Dana Mathewson.


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.

Women’s competition

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.