Photo: Mathilde DusolViktoriia Lvova (RUS)
Top seed Israel and former winner Greece, the finalists in 2013, have been drawn in the same men’s pool for the BNP Paribas World Team Cup European Qualification in Antalya, Turkey.
Both countries are drawn together as the only two teams in Pool 4, while this year’s second seed and last year’s third placed team Hungary is drawn in Pool 1 alongside Portugal and Romania.
Third seed Switzerland, runner-up to Spain in 2014, will contest Pool 2 alongside host nation Turkey and Latvia, while fourth seed Croatia is drawn in Pool 3 with Ireland and Estonia.
With eleven men’s teams starting the competition, the four teams at the top of each of the four pools after the round-robin phase of the competition will go forward to the semifinals.
Ten teams start the women’s competition in three pools.
Russia, the winner last year, is second seed this year and will play Turkey and Denmark in Pool 2 in round-robin phase of the event. Top seed France, who finished third in 2014, will play Switzerland and Sweden. Last year’s runner-up Italy is third seed and will contest the largest of the women’s pools alongside Poland, Latvia and Belgiium.
The women’s competition, in particular, features a host of top ranked players, with all four members of France’s team currently ranked inside the world’s top 30. Meanwhile, Russia’s women’s team once again includes world No. 1 ranked junior Viktoriia Lvova.
The winner of the men’s event and the winner of the women’s event will qualify for men’s World Group II and the women’s World Group at the 2015 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, which takes place back in Antalya on 25-31 May.