Photo: Jan-Willem de LangeNick Taylor (USA)
The quad and junior semifinal line-ups were confirmed on the third day of the 2014 BNP Paribas World Team Cup as USA and Great Britain joined Israel and Japan in the last four of the quad event and Netherlands, USA and Russia joined Spain in the hunt for a place in the final of the junior event in Alphen, Netherlands.
On another day when playing on the indoor courts proved to be of benefit for the quad and junior events, top seed USA took on Italy in order to decide the team that would take second place in Pool A of the quad event.
With USA having never missed out on a top four finish at the World Team Cup, for a while that record looked to be in jeopardy after Italy’s Marco Innocenti beat London 2012 Paralympic bronze medallist Nick Taylor 64 76(8).
David Wagner levelled the tie after comfortably showing why he is world ranked No.1, defeating Antonio Raffaele 62 61 to ensure a decisive doubles rubber.
USA took an early lead in the doubles and continued to build on the momentum to earn a 63 61 victory and a semifinal against Israel that will be a repeat of the last year’s final.
“It is always nerve wracking going into a deciding doubles. But playing with David we have had a lot of success, so we had a lot of confidence,” said Taylor.
“We had a tough rubber as they are a good team. But we just tried to make the most of the advantages that we have,” said Wagner.
Israel finished top of Pool B after Boaz Kramer, Shraga Weinberg and Itay Erenlib combined to earn a 3-0 victory over Sweden’s Petter Edstrom, Anders Hard and Christer Jansson.
The other semifinal will feature Japan, who also came through the round-robin stage undefeated, after Shinichi Hirata, Mitsuteru Moroishi and Shota Kawano completed a 3-0 victory over Austria.
Japan, who defeated No. 1 seed USA on the opening day of competition, impressed once more ahead of meeting second seed Great Britain for a place in the final.
Great Britain and Canada, both with one win apiece, had a crucial final pool match, which Jamie Burdekin began by defeating Gary Luker 61 61. World No. 3 Andy Lapthorne secured Great Britain’s second place in Pool B after overcoming Sarah Hunter 64 63.
Netherlands to face Spain, USA to play Russia in junior semis
In the junior competition 2013 silver medallist Spain ensured it topped Pool B after having ensured itself of a place in the semifinals after Tuesday’s second day of play.
Second seed Spain completed the round-robin phase with Felix Garcia and Martin de la Puente defeating Chile 3-0, for the loss of just eight games in three rubbers.
Chile finished third in the pool and go on to the 5/6th place play-off against Great Britain.
Russia also guaranteed its progression to the top four without dropping a game to Turkey, with Viktoriia Lvova, Artur Saitgareev and Illdus Shaikhislamov all playing a part in a resounding victory.
Netherlands Diede de Groot, Carlos Anker, Mitchel Graauw and Sam Schroder all took to the court as the host nation dropped just seven games in its three rubbers against Malaysia to finish in second place in Pool A.
After beating top seed Netherlands on the second day of play, USA guaranteed a semifinal place after defeating Great Britain 2-1 in Pool A
A fascinating opening singles rubber saw Luz Esperanza Merry, a member of Great Britain’s winning junior team in 2013, take a 4-0 lead against Casey Ratzlaff in the opening singles rubber, but Ratzlaff proved a tough opponent and took Merry to a deciding set before the 13-year-old Brit wrapped up a 64 56 73 victory.
However, thereafter USA dropped just two games in the remaining rubbers as Chris Herman powered past Ian Payne and then partnered Conner Stroud to beat Merry and Payne 62 60 in the deciding doubles.
Netherlands plays Spain and USA takes on Russia for a place in the finals.