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WHEELCHAIR

QUADS STYMIE GREAT BRITAIN, INTO SEMIFINALS

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The 2013 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, featuring the finest Wheelchair Tennis players in the world today, is underway in Antalya, Turkey. A total of 52 teams from 28 nations are competing in four categories: Men’s, Women’s, Quads and Juniors, with the U.S. competing in all divisions. 

USTA.com follows all the action from the Club Ali Bey Manavgat, highlighting Team USA and their path to the championships. Along the way, Team USA members will also reveal how they find themselves in the game and what drives them to be the best during international competition.

By Nicholas J. Walz, USTA.com

Even when American quads lose, they win.
 
A wild finish on between the U.S. and Great Britain saw a lengthy tie-break between the two rival nations, as Americans Nick Taylor and David Wagner were upset by the duo of Antony Cotterill and Adam Field, 7-5, 1-6, [11-9] – a small blemish in what was otherwise a commanding performance for Team USA, which now finds itself two team victories from a record eighth BNP Paribas World Team Cup title.
 
Earlier in the day, Taylor and Wagner both sailed to straight-sets victories in singles to assure a berth into Friday’s semifinals, where Japan awaits. Should the foursome of Taylor, Wagner, Bryan Barten and Greg Hasterok prevail, a final showdown with either second-seeded Israel or Italy waits. Overall, the quads finished up with an individual match record of 8-1 in Pool A play.
 
The Team USA juniors also matched up with Great Britain on Wednesday and appeared poised to provide the upset of top-seeded Great Britain, as 17-year-old Krystal Kelley won her second singles affair in as many days by defeating Lauren Jones, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, to put the U.S. up 1-0 early. However, world No. 1 Alfie Hewett saved what would have been a tremendously shocking defeat for his country by rallying to beat Chris Herman in singles, and he teamed with countryman Luz Esperanza Merry to defeat Herman and Kelley in doubles to snuff out the upstart Americans, 2-1.
 
"The juniors fought hard each day in what turned out to be an incredibly strong pool with not only Great Britain but Spain as well," said Team USA coach Dan James of the team, who will play Iraq on Thursday to determine a fifth- or sixth-place finish. "We couldn't be more proud and see a very bright future for American wheelchair tennis."
 
Also eliminated from a chance at the cup were the U.S. men, blanked 3-0 by perennial powerhouse Japan. Combined with yesterday’s loss to Argentina, the U.S., led by Stephen Welch and Steve Baldwin, will now wait a day in Turkey before taking to the red clay courts again to retain its spot in the World Group.
 
"Japan is one of the most talented teams in the new era of wheelchair tennis – a team we respect – so we knew it would be a tremendous challenge to overcome and beat a team of that caliber," said James. "In watching our own Stephen Welch, a former world No. 1, play Shingo Kunieda, who’s the current No. 1, I think that was a real treat for all spectators."
 
On Thursday, only two ties are on tap for the Americans as the juniors take on Iraq and the U.S. women return to action against Australia.
 
***
Wednesday's Full Results 
 
Quad Event - Pool A: USA (1) defeated Great Britain 2-1
Nick Taylor (USA) d. Adam Field (GBR) 6-1, 6-0          
David Wagner (USA) d. Antony Cotterill (GBR) 6-1, 6-1
Antony Cotterill & Adam Field (GBR) d. Nick Taylor & David Wagner (USA) 7-5, 1-6, [11-9]
 
Men’s World Group I - Pool C: Japan (3) defeated USA 3-0
Takashi Sanada (JPN) d. Steve Baldwin (USA) 6-1, 6-2
Shingo Kunieda (JPN) d. Stephen Welch (USA) 6-2, 6-1
Shingo Kunieda & Takuya Miki (JPN) d. Anthony Lara & Steve Baldwin (USA) 6-0, 6-2
 
Junior Event - Pool A: Great Britain (1) defeated USA 2-1
Krystal Kelley (USA) d. Lauren Jones (GBR) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Alfie Hewett (GBR) d. Chris Herman (USA) 6-1, 6-1
Alfie Hewett & Luz Esperanza Merry (GBR) d. Chris Herman & Krystal Kelley (USA) 6-3, 6-3

Meet Stephen, U.S. Men's Team Member

Headshot_Stephen_Welch
"I find myself in the game by playing to stay healthy and representing the United States around the world by doing so. Playing regularly helps me stay fit. Even now at 40 years of age, I still play approximately 15 tournaments on the tour each year, and I've played in five Paralympic Games and 15 World Team Cup events."
 
-- Stephen Welch

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For more on Wheelchair Tennis, please visit the USTA.com Wheelchair Tennis page.
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World Team Cup Women's Qualifier
Mar. 11-14
Caguas, Puerto Rico
 
Alphen, The Netherlands
May 26 - June1
 
Coaching Staff:
Jason Harnett - Men's
Dan James - Women's
John Devorss - Quads
Paul Walker - Juniors
Emily Sandor - Team Manager
Jenna Street - Athletic Trainer
 
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