05 Jun 2014

Record numbers enter World Team Championship


NEWS ARTICLE

By  Stuart Barraclough

Photo: Dennis G. IljushenkovPortuguese determination

A record 26 nations will travel to Moscow to compete in the four-day Beach Tennis World Team Championship held at Russia’s National Tennis Centre on 17-20 July.

Brazil leads the way as it returns to Moscow in July to defend its World Champion title. Currently home to joint ladies world No. 1s Joana Cortez and Samantha Barijan with compatriot Vinicius Font set to top the men’s rankings on Monday 16 June, the nation is sure to field a very strong team.

Former champions and last year’s runner-up Italy will be keen to see the trophy return to Rome while France and hosts Russia can never be ruled out having made it to the semifinals in both previous years.

Amongst the favourites, Venezuela will be highly motivated as its beach tennis team has just returned from the South American Beach Games, where it topped the medals tally, while San Marino has always performed well at this event.

Japan has long been at the forefront of beach tennis in Asia and will return to the World Team Championship seeking to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish. China and Thailand will both make their debuts, joining Japan in an attempt to become the first Asian nation to be crowned World Champion.

Debutants from the Pan American region will certainly be ones to watch. The USA is one of the most active nations on the ITF Beach Tennis Tour, while Aruba has a beach tennis tradition predating the Tour and is home to one of the most prestigious Tour events.

Belarus, Greece, Israel and Latvia take the total to eight debuting nations and, although not major players on the Tour, could well produce a few surprises. Belarusian Fed Cup and Olympic pairing Olga Barabanschikova and Natalia Zvereva have played the Tour’s major Championships since 2008 and reached the final of the Japan Open in 2012.

For those who want a taster of things to come, the French Tennis Federation is holding a World Team Championship exhibition at Roland Garros on court 13 from Friday 6 to Sunday 8June featuring Brazil, Italy and France.

Entered nations
Aruba | Belarus | Belgium | Brazil | Bulgaria | China | Cyprus | Estonia | France | Germany| Great Britain | Greece | Hungary | Israel | Italy | Japan | Latvia | Lithuania | Portugal | Russia | San Marino | Spain | Switzerland | Thailand | United States | Venezuela

About the event
The Beach Tennis World Team Championship is a flagship event on the ITF Beach tennis Tour and is the only event of its kind. It is a mixed competition in which nations compete against each other as a team with each team is comprised of two men and two women and ties consisting of a men’s doubles, women’s doubles and a mixed doubles match.



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