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.
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.
Invacare were the title sponsor of the event from 1996, having first become involved in the event the year previously, and continued their sponsorship up until 2011. at which point BNP Paribas took over, with Invacare sponsoring the Doubles Masters.
In 2012, the BNP Paribas World Team Cup was held in Asia for the first time, with Seoul, Korea Republic playing host to the event in its new format from 21-27 May.
The Turkish Sports Federation for the Disabled (TSFD) will host the event for the second time in four years on the clay courts of the Club Ali Bey Manavgat on the Turkish Riviera on 20-26 May 2013..
Earlier in the year Regional Qualifications were held in Africa, the Americas and Europe as part of the new format introduced in 2012, allowing nations the chance to win places in either men’s World Group II or the women’s World Group.
"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