Photo: Do-Won KimBNP Paribas World Team Cup
The ITF announced that the 2013 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event, will be held in Antalya, Turkey. The event will be hosted by the Turkish Sports Federation for the Disabled (TSFD) on the clay courts of the Club Ali Bey Manavgat on the Turkish Riviera on 20-26 May.
The World Team Cup is the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis event, often referred to as the Davis and Fed Cups of wheelchair tennis. 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.
Teams from over 50 countries will take part in the 2013 competition. Three regional qualifying events will determine the five men’s and three women’s teams to join the direct entries in the finals in Antalya. There will also be one men’s and one women’s wild card from Asia. In Antalya, teams will contest the men’s World Group (12 nations), men’s World Group 2 (12 nations), women’s World Group (12 nations), quad event (8 teams) and junior event (8 teams).
The full list of dates and venues is as follows, with the Africa qualifying event beginning on Thursday this week:
17-20 January: Africa Qualification - Nairobi Club, Nairobi, Kenya
1-5 March: European Qualification - Rixos Lares Hotel, Antalya, Turkey
13-16 March: Americas Qualification - Roger Scott Tennis Centre, Pensacola, FL, USA
20-26 May: Finals - Club Ali Bey Manavgat, Antalya, Turkey
Antalya will host the event for a second time having previously staged the World Team Cup in 2010. The resort has a long history of hosting major ITF events and will also stage the ITF Seniors World Team and Individual Championships in 2013.
BNP Paribas became title sponsor of the event in 2012 in a five-year agreement that runs through 2016. The company’s long-term agreement with the ITF also includes sponsorship of Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup, and the biennial Worldwide Coaches Conference and regional coaches workshops.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “The ITF is delighted that the BNP Paribas World Team Cup will return to Antalya, having staged an extremely successful event in 2010. This is the most prestigious event on the ITF’s wheelchair tennis calendar, and in the ITF’s centenary year, it is fitting that it has attracted its largest entry ever.”