Photo: Do-Won KimThe Netherlands, BNP Paribas World Team Cup women's champions
The Netherlands won their 25th women’s title on the fifth day of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup, while Great Britain claimed the bronze medal in the women’s event and also the bronze medal in the junior event at the Olympic Park Tennis Centre in Seoul, Korea Republic.
Marjolein Buis, who has reached a career best world ranking at No. 3 this week, sped through the opening singles rubber of the women’s final against Japan’s Kanako Domori 61 60, but 18-year-old world No. 7 Yui Kamijj, the world’s top ranked junior player, made a brave attempt at keeping Japanese hopes alive in the final when she took the first set off world No. 2 Aniek van Koot in the second singles rubber.
However, van Koot regrouped and dominated the next two sets to win 36 61 60 to wrap up a 2-0 victory over third seeds Japan. With 25 victories in the 27 years of the women’s event being played at the World Team Cup, the Netherlands other two final positions were sixth in 1994 and second in 1999.
The bronze medal play-off pitched fourth seeds Great Britain against 2011 runners-up and second seeds Germany, but Britain’s Jordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker both beat higher ranked opposition as Great Britain won the bronze medal for the second successive year.
World No. 13 Whiley defeated world No. 12 Katharina Kruger 63 64 in the opening singles rubber, while British No. 1 and world No. 11 Lucy Shuker powered to a 60 64 win over Germany's world No. 6 Sabine Ellerbrock to give Great Britain their second successive bronze medal in the women's event.
Two days after beating South Africa in the round-robin phase of the junior event, top seeds Great Britain recorded the same result to claim the bronze medal.
Sixteen year-old Lauren Jones completed her BNP World Team Cup debut with four wins from her five singles rubbers, after she defeated Mabel Mankgele 63 60, while 14-year-old Alfie Hewett, the reigning Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters champion , beat Gift Lekhanyane 61 63 to put the play-off beyond the reach of South Africa,
South Africa’s fourth place improves on their seventh place finish in 2011, when they made their debut in the junior event on home soil in Pretoria.
With the Netherlands and USA lining up in Saturday’s final of the junior event, which is once again supported by the Johan Cruyff Foundation, the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth place were also decided on the fifth day of competition in Seoul.
Iraq claimed fifth place after defeating World Team Cup junior debutants Russia 2-1 after a deciding doubles rubber.
Russia’s Gennady Kapkaev gave Russia the lead in the play-off when he beat Ali Khayoon Al-Gharrawi 62 63, but Hussein Hamed Hel eased to a 62 61 win over Polina Shakirova in the second singles rubber.
The doubles was closely fought, but in the end Hamid Hel and Al-Gharrawi came out on top 64 64.
While Russia are making their debut in the World Team Cup junior event this year, so are Mexico who ended their campaign on a winning note after beating Argentina 2-1 to claim seventh place in a tie that was also won in the deciding doubles rubber.
Lisbeth Alondra Soto Rivera gave Mexico the lead after a comfortable 62 60 win over Lucas Scarazzini , and Carlos Daniel Muro Chavarria looked set to wrap up the tie after the singles rubbers when he won the first set against Gonzalo Pascual 6-0. However, Pascual produced a remarkable comeback to take the match 06 64 63.
The doubles rubber was also hotly contested, but Muro Chavarria and Soto Rivera eventually claimed a 64 76(2) victory for Mexico.
Overview of Matches - Friday, 25 May 2012
Men's World Group Draw
Men's World Group 2 Draw
Women's World Group Draw
Quad World Group Draw
Junior World Group Draw