The BNP Paribas World Team Cup is the wheelchair tennis equivalent of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup. There are divisions for men, women, quads and a junior event supported by the Cruyff Foundation.
It is held annually with a different nation playing host each year.
2014 BNP Paribas World Team Cup:
This year's wheelchair tennis flagship event will be hosted by the Dutch Tennis Federation (KNLTB) at the Nieuwe Sloot Tennis Centre in Alphen, Netherlands from 26 May until 1 June.
2014 BNP Paribas World Team Cup Regional Qualifiers:
Prior to the main event, four Regional Qualifiers are being held in Nairobi (Kenya), Caguas (Puerto Rico), Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Antalya (Turkey). The winning men and women's teams from each qualifier earn themselves a place at the event in Alphen, The Netherlands.
The 2014 regional qualifier winners are:
- AFRICA: Kenya (Women) & Nigeria (Men)
- AMERICAS: Colombia (Women) & Brazil (Men)
- ASIA/OCEANIA: Chinese Taipei (Women) & Malaysia (Men)
- EUROPE: Russia (Women) & Spain (Men)
Following the completion of the regional qualification events, there are two wildcard places still available in men's World Group II. These will be decided by the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Committee and announced in due course.
The winners of the 2013 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, hosted by the Turkish Sports Federation for the Disabled (TSFD) were:
Men's World Group: FRANCE (S. Houdet, N. Peifer & F. Cattaneo) Men's World Group II: AUSTRALIA (B. Weekes, A. Kellerman & O. Keegan) Women: NETHERLANDS: (A. Van Koot, J. Griffioen & S. Walraven) Quad: USA (D. Wagner, N. Taylor, G. Hasterok & Bryan Barten) Junior: GREAT BRITAIN (A. Hewett, L. Jones & L. Merry)
The World Team Cup was created in 1985 due to the growth of foreign participation in the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships. It began more as a fun event that was used as a warm-up tournament the weekend before the US Open. It was also felt that it would create international camaraderie and one day the tournament would stand on its own. Just six men's teams competed in the inaugural event with women joining the competition with two teams the following year.
By 1991, the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships and the World Team Cup had grown beyond anyone's expectations and having the events back-to-back was too much. It was hard on the tournament organisers and the top players and it was felt the time had come to move to a new location and a different time of year.
Following discussions at the IWTF Annual General Meeting, Belgium said that they would love to hold the event and in 1992, the World Team Cup moved outside the USA for the first time. The event has now been staged in 16 different countries and is a massive stand-alone tournament with over 300 participants and around 150 additional guests and coaches each year.
BNP Paribas became the title sponsor for the event in 2011, following 15 years of sponsorship by Invacare.
"There is no question that representing your country while playing sport is an extremely exciting and rewarding feeling, one that only a select few will ever experience. The World Team Cup gave wheelchair tennis a new meaning when it first occurred in 1985 and the sport truly became international."
- Brad Parks, USA