Photo: Mathilde DusolMartin de la Puente and Felix Garcia (ESP)
Fourth seed Spain beat top seed Great Britain in the junior event, which is supported by ITF Wheelchair Tennis Programme Partner the Johan Cruyff Foundation, in a tie that went down to a championship tiebreak in the deciding doubles rubber on the second day of the 2013 BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Antalya, Turkey.
Martin de la Puente put Spain in front with a comfortable 60 60 win over Luz Esperanza Merry, before boys’ world junior No. 1 Alfie Hewett defeated Felix Garcia 63 62.
With the deciding doubles culminating in a championship tiebreak, and following some impressive and aggressive play, Great Britain earned three match points, but Hewett and Jones were unable to convert any of them and the Spanish kept their nerves and managed to earn their first match point at 10-9.
De la Puente and Garcia were unable to convert on their first attempt, but needed no more than two chances to complete a 67(3) 64 (12-10) victory amid emotional scenes.
“It was a very difficult match. I am very tired, as it was hard with the sun. But I am very happy,” said Garcia.
USA kept alive its hopes of making the semifinals by beating Tanzania 3-0 and now faces Great Britain to determine which of the two teams will progress in the tournament.
Netherlands came through a close-fought encounter with Russia to reach the semifinals. Russia’s Viktoria Lvova took girls’ world No. 1 Diede de Groot to three sets in the opening rubber of the match 67(3) 64 62. Artur Saitgareev then succumbed to Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters boys’ singles finalist Carlos Anker 62 46 64.
“It feels great to know we are either first or second place in the pool.” said de Groot.
Iraqi tournament newcomer Zaharaa Jawad took former girls’ world No. 1 Mariska Venter to three sets. The South African’s greater experience enabled her to find her rhythm and she came through 46 61 62.
However, this was to be the only rubber that South Africa would win, as former world No. 2 boys' player Gift Lekganyane lost to Hussein Hel 61 62. The Iraqi duo then managed to defeat Lekhanyane and Venter 61 63 in the doubles, keeping South Africa’s hopes of a semifinal spot alive.
Israel and USA claim semifinal berths in quad event
A semifinal place was secured by USA in the quad event after Nick Taylor and David Wagner won both singles rubbers against South Africa, who failed to build on victory over Great Britain on Monday's opening day of play in round-robin Group A.
Wagner and Taylor were too strong for Lucas Sithole and Bongani Dlamini and took the match after Taylor beat Dlamini 60 61 and Wagner defeated Sithole 76(1) 63 before the three-time Paralympic quad doubles gold medallists won the doubles without dropping a game.
Italy and South Africa go head-to-head on Friday to decide the second team progressing from Group A, after Italy defeated third seed Great Britain 3-0. The Great Britain quad team was without the services of world No. 7 Jamie Burdekin on the second day of play, with Burdekin sitting out the tie due to injury.
Also joining USA in the semifinals will be Israel, who sent Sweden into a crucial tie against Japan for a place in the last four.
Canada was level with Japan following the singles rubbers after Sarah Hunter kept Canadian hopes alive for the second day in a row. The former world No. 2 came back from losing the first set against Mitsuteru Moroishi to claim a tense second set tiebreak and finally completed a 36 76(4) 62 win.
However, Japan’s Shinichi Hirata and Moroishi proved too strong for Adrian Dieleman and Hunter in the deciding doubles rubber, taking the tie 2-1 after a 63 62 victory.