Great Britain’s men’s and quad wheelchair tennis teams have reached the semi-finals of their respective events at the 2017 BNP Paribas World Team Cup after winning their final round-robin ties on Thursday to finish top of their pools in Alghero, Sardinia.
Rio 2016 men’s singles gold and silver medallists Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett and teammate Dermot Bailey are unbeaten so far in the men’s competition at the International Tennis Federation’s flagship wheelchair tennis event, having secured 3-0 wins against China, Italy and Austria. They play Poland on Friday for a place in the men’s final for the second time in three years.
“There have been a few close ties and upsets in the draw. GB have done a good job to finish top of the group without losing a match. It’s a real confidence boost going into the semis,” said 19-year-old Hewett. “There’s a good atmosphere in the camp, we are focussed on one match at a time and looking forward to the next one tomorrow.”
The World Team Cup has provided some memorable moments for GB players on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Programme in recent years, including Hewett and Reid both being members of the Great Britain team that won the men’s title for the first time in 2015. Hewett was also part of the Great Britain team that won the junior title in 2013.
Hewett beat Martin Legner 6-1, 6-1 and Reid defeated Nico Langmann 6-3, 6-0 to give Britain an unassailable lead over Austria in Thursday’s third and last men’s Pool B round-robin contest. Bailey then partnered Reid to a narrow 6-1, 4-6, (10-6) victory over Langmann and Legner after a match tie-break in the doubles rubber.
The Great Britain quad team, featuring Rio quad singles silver medallist Andy Lapthorne, Antony Cotterill and James Shaw, have also finished top of Pool B in their event after a 3-0 victory over Korea and 2-1 wins over Canada and Japan.
Cotterill dropped the opening singles rubber of Thursday’s contest against Japan, but Lapthorne forced the doubles rubber after beating Mitsuteru Moroishi with a powerful display 6-0 6-0. Reigning Doubles Masters champions Cotterill and Lapthorne then won the doubles rubber against Shota Kawano and Moroishi 6-3, 6-3.
“I’m really pleased with how the week has gone so far and I’m looking forward to another big match on Saturday,” said Lapthorne, who has been a part of two Great Britain teams that have won the World Team Cup quad title previously.
Great Britain play USA on Saturday in a bid to reach this year’s final after Cotterill and Lapthorne were both members of the GB team that last won the quad title in 2014.
Great Britain’s junior team of Ruairi Logan and World Team Cup debutants Alex Chaston and George Davies will play off for fifth to eighth places. All three of Great Britain’s junior round-robin contests against Brazil, Russia and Turkey have been decided in the doubles rubber, with 15-year-old Logan unbeaten so far in his three singles rubbers.
Photo courtesy of the Tennis Foundation