Photo: Mathilde DusolGustavo Fernandez (ARG)
Three former champions are drawn together for the round-robin pool stages of the men’s World Group at the 2016 BNP Paribas World Team Cup after the draw for the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event was made on Sunday night in Tokyo.
Top seed and 2015 runner-up France will play Netherlands and USA in a bid to reach the knockout phase of this year’s competition, with Netherlands and USA to meet in Pool A on Monday’s first day of competition at the Ariake Colosseum.
Second seed, host nation and two-time former men’s champion Japan is drawn to play Belgium and another former champion, Sweden, in Pool B. Japan against Belguim could involve a meeting between Shingo Kunieda and Joachim Gerard, but Belgium and Sweden meet in the opening tie in the pool.
Reigning champion Great Britain, the fifth seed this year, will begin the defence of its men’s World Group title against Austria in Pool C.
Top seed Netherlands will play France and Colombia in the Pool A of the women’s World Group, with host nation Japan facing an intriguing opening round-robin tie against Thailand in Pool B before both nations play former silver medallist Great Britain.
Chine and Morocco, who both booked their place in Tokyo by winning their respective regional qualification event, are both drawn in Pool 3 for the women’s event, along with USA. Russia and Brazil, who also won their regional qualification events, are draw on Pool D along with Chile.
USA to meet Australia in opening quad round-robin tie
Among the most eye-catching of Monday’s opening round-robin ties is in Pool B of the quad World Group as defending champion and second seed USA meets Australia, a newcomer to the quad event. The tie produces the prospect of a fascinating rematch of Saturday’s Japan Open quad singles final between world No. 1 Dylan Alcott and world No. 2 David Wagner.
USA and Australia are drawn in the same round-robin pool as Italy and Japan, with Israel, South Africa and Canada joining top seed Great Britain in Pool A.
USA won both the quad and junior titles in 2015. This year the junior event, which is again supported by the Johan Cruyff Foundation, sees top seed USA beginning the defence of its title with Pool A round-robin ties against fellow former champion Russia, South Africa and Chile.
Host nation Japan makes its debut in the junior event with an opening Pool B round-robin tie against second seed Netherlands, also a former junior champion.
Brazil once again starts men’s World Group 2 as top seed and will begin its quest to win the competition with a Pool A tie against Morocco, one of the nations to have qualified for World Group 2. China and Greece, both of whom also advanced from winning their regional qualifiers, are drawn in Pool C with Switzerland.
2016 BNP Paribas World Team Cup Draws - Tournament Software