Top seeds Japan reclaimed the Men's World Group 1 title during Sunday's final day of the 2007 Invacare World Team Cup in Stockholm, Sweden, with Satoshi Saida and World No 1 Shingo Kunieda winning both singles rubbers during the final against defending champions the Netherlands.
World No 4 Saida took to the court for the first singles rubber against World No 7 Maikel Scheffers and won the big points to win the first set by one clear service break. The second set went to a tie-break, in which Saida moved 6-3 up, and although Sheffers pulled it back to 6-6 the Japanese player won the next two points to wrap up a 64 76(6) victory.
The second singles rubber was a showdown between the world's top two ranked men, Kunieda and Robin Ammerlaan, and both players produced an excellent display of tennis. Kunieda again won the important points to clinch the first set 64 and then opended up a 52 lead in the second set. Although Ammerlaan took the next game to deuce as he tried to keep the Netherlands' title defence alive, on match point Kunieda produced an ace down the middle to give Japan a second Invacare World Team Cup Men's title, following up their victory in Poland in 2003.
The third and fourth place play-off in Men's World Group 1 came to a fitting conclusion as one of the best Invacare World Team Cups ever produced the best Men's results ever for host nationn Sweden.
With France's World No 4 Michael Jeremiasz having hurt a shoulder during Saturday's semi-final against the Netherlands, France's third and fourth place play-off challenge was left to Frederic Cazeaudumec, Stephane Houdet and Frederic Cattaneo and Cazeaudumec struggled in the opening singles rubber as Peter Wikstrom recorded a 62 61 win to give the hosts the lead. However, World No 6 Houdet levelled the title after a 62 63 defeat of Stefan Olsson.
The deciding doubles rubber went to three sets, with Houdet and Cattaneo taking the iniitiative, but with crowd support behind them Wikstrom and Olsson fought back superbly to record a 46 62 61 victory that saw fourth seeds Sweden better both their seeding and their best previous World Team Cup finish of fourth in 1990.
Sunday also saw the play-offs in the Men's event, with promotion and relgation at stake. Hungary and World Group 2 top seeds Canada split the opening two singles rubbers in their play-off before Lazlo Farkas and Csaba Prohaszka secured the crucial points to edge out Lee Carter and Yan Mathieu 64 64 in the doubles, thereby retaining Hungary's place in World Group 1 and resigning Canada to another year in World Group 2.
The other play-off began with a comfortable straight sets win for Brazil's Mauricio Pomme over Switzerland's Raphael Gremion. However, the second singles rubber saw Daniel Pellegrina defeat Carlos Santos 63 26 64 to bring Switzerland level. With Brazil facing possible relegation and Switzerland possible promotion the deciding doubles rubber was hotly contested and Switzerland took the first set. However, Pomme and Santos recovered well and went on to secure a 46 63 62 victory to retain Brazils's place in World Group 1 that they won when becoming World Group 2 champions in their own country last year.
Meanwhile, having been promoted to World Group 1 with Brazil in 2006, Argentina found their stay in the elite group of 16 nations short-lived as they finished 15th this year, resulting in relegation along with 16th place team the Czech Republic. Both teams will be in World Group 2 for next year's event.
For more news, information, photos and the availability of results, please visit the Invacare World Team Cup Sweden 2007 Website at www.salk.se and navigate via the 'Invacare WTC' link towards the top of the navigation bar.
Invacare World Team Cup 2007 - Preview and Draws.
Day 1 Review - China's Men upset Belgium.
Day 2 Review - Italy pip Israel in thrilling Quad contest.
Day 3 Review - Great Britain and Netherlands reach Junior final
Day 4 Review - USA and Netherlands reach Quad final
Day 5 Review - Great Britain and USA net Junior and Quad titles
Day 6 Review - Netherlands wins 20th Women's title