World Team Cup: Netherlands and Japan crowned champions

Dutch women seal remarkable 30th title on home court in Apeldoorn 04 Jun 2018 By ITF

Netherlands and Japan won the women’s and men’s titles on Sunday (3 June) as the 2018 BNP Paribas World Team Cup came to a thrilling conclusion in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.

The hosts earned a remarkable 30th women’s title in a match tiebreak against China in the deciding doubles, while Japan claimed the men’s title for a third time against Great Britain.

Netherlands take revenge on China

With both teams meeting in the women’s final for the third successive year, Hui Min Huang repeated her win over world No. 3 Aniek van Koot 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

An even closer second singles match saw world No. 2 Diede de Groot looking to reverse the outcome of her defeat 12 months ago against Zhenzhen Zhu. The current Dutch No. 1 prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to ensure the final would come to one of the most memorable and tense conclusions in the event’s 34-year history.

And memorable it most certainly was as de Groot and van Koot raced through the opening set, but then had to save two match points in the decisive match tiebreak before wrapping up a 6-0, 3-6, 12-10 win to give Netherlands their 30th title in 33 years.

Japan wraps up third men’s title

Fifteen years on from becoming the first Asian nation to win a World Team Cup title, Japan sealed their third men’s title in Apeldoorn with a 2-0 victory over top seeds and 2015 champions Great Britain.

World No. 5 Gordon Reid went into the first singles match against world No. 8 Takashi Sanada with a 6-1 lead in head-to-heads. The Brit even looked set to extend his advantage in career meetings when leading by a set and 3-1.

However, an inspired performance from Sanada saw him fight back to take the second set after reeling off five games in succession and he then saved two match points at 5-2 down in the deciding set before putting the seal on a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win.

Meetings between world No. 1 Alfie Hewett and world No. 3 Shingo Kunieda in 2018 had been reserved for two Super Series singles finals, with both players having won one apiece.

However, an in-form Kunieda had much the better of the opening set in Apeldoorn and, from 3-1 down, dominated the closing stages of the second set to win 6-2, 6-3. Kunieda has now been a member of all three victorious Japanese teams in 2003, 2007 and 2018.

Full results are available on the International Tennis Federation’s website.