France celebrate their fourth men's World Group title at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup
The 2013 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event, is being held in Antalya, Turkey on 20-26 May.
The event will be hosted by the Turkish Sports Federation for the Disabled (TSFD) on the clay courts of the Club Ali Bey Manavgat for the second time in four years.
After first hosting the World Team Cup in 2010, Turkey becomes the fifth nation to host the World Team Cup twice in its 29 year history.
In Antalya, teams will contest the men’s World Group (12 nations), men’s World Group II (12 nations), women’s World Group (12 nations), quad event (8 teams) and junior event (8 teams).
The initial event took place in California in 1985 involving six men’s teams. The women’s competition began the following year, with quad and junior events introduced in 1998 and 2000 respectively. Due to the increased number of teams wanting to take part, the ITF introduced regional qualifying for the men’s and women’s events in 2012.
Fifty-two teams from 28 nations will vie for honours in Antalya, with France starting as the defending champions in the men’s World Group, led by world No. 2 Stephane Houdet. France is likely to have tough opposition from the Netherlands and Sweden. Sweden’s Stefan Olsson and Peter Vikstrom, the London 2012 Paralympic men’s doubles gold medallists, having guided Sweden to victory in Antalya in 2010.
Thailand and South Africa will contest the men’s World Group this year after earning promotion from World Group II in 2012
After winning the women’s World Group for the 25th time in 2012, Netherlands will once again start as favourites for another victory. Their abundance of talent includes world No. 1 Aniek van Koot and world No. 3 Jiske Griffioen, who were two of the team members when Netherlands won the title in Antalya in 2010.
After dominating the quad singles and doubles podiums at the London 2012 Paralympics, defending champion Israel, USA and 2012 runner-up Great Britain will be among the leading contenders once again in the quad event, while Netherlands, Great Britain, USA and South Africa should be among the leading contenders in the junior event, which is once again supported by ITF Wheelchair Tennis Programme Partner the Johan Cruyff Foundation.
After Sunday evening’s opening ceremony at Club Ali Bey Manavgat, round-robin ties in all events will begin next Monday ahead of the knockout phase of the competition later in the week.