WHEELCHAIR

TAYLOR, WAGNER POWER QUADS INTO FINAL

World_Team_Cup_Action_Day_5

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
 
The tandem of Nick Taylor and David Wagner showed why the U.S. quads are the team to beat in Turkey, handing Japan a 3-0 defeat in the BNP Paribas World Team Cup semifinals and setting up a climatic showdown with defending WTC champion Israel on Saturday.
 
For the second time in as many days, the U.S. celebrated a "double bagel" singles win, with Wagner besting Mitsuteru Moroishi, 6-0, 6-0. On Thursday, women’s team member Kaitlyn Verfuerth turned the trick on Australia’s Luba Josevski. 
 
Overall, in the three matches against Japan, the U.S. quad team dropped only six games to reach the final for the eighth time in the last nine years.
 
"Israel will be a real challenge," said Team USA coach Dan James, previewing the quad final. "The two teams were well represented on the medal stand in London and this is the first time they will face off since then."
 
"London" being last summer’s Paralympic Games, where Israel’s Noam Gershony upset Wagner, the world’s No. 1-ranked quad player, in the gold medal singles match, 6-3, 6-1. Wagner would take silver and then earned a gold in doubles with Taylor, who claimed a bronze in singles. For the Israelis, Gershony and partner Shraga Weinberg settled for doubles bronze in London after being defeated by Taylor and Wagner in the semis. The U.S. and Israel are seeded 1-2 in this current WTC, with both teams having lost one match in four ties en route to a seemingly destined faceoff.
 
"We expect an incredible team across the net, like always," said James, " but our guys are ready." 
 
For all the positives emerging from the quad event, the frustrating slide of the U.S. men’s team continued on Friday as Thailand beat the Americans, 2-1. A singles win by former world No. 1 Stephen Welch provided a small boost, but Thailand’s Suthi Klongrua and Sumrerng Kruamai overpowered Welch and partner Steve Baldwin, 6-4, 7-6(2), to put the U.S. in a must-win position over the weekend after losing three ties to stat WTC play.
 
After earning a promotion into the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) coveted World Group I in 2011, the U.S. finished seventh at the 2012 WTC in Seoul, avoiding relegation by finishing second in their pool of three teams to start the event. Now, depending on the outcome of their matches against South Africa on Saturday, the U.S. may find itself against a World Group II opponent in Australia or Greece on Sunday with World Group I membership on the line. 
 
"We are fortunate to have the experience and leadership of a former world No. 1 in Stephen Welch, someone who’s seen and been part of all kinds of highs and lows," said James. "He’s staving off panic as the team readies itself for the next two days."
 
***
Friday's Full Results 
 
Men’s World Group I 9-12 Playoffs: Thailand defeated USA 2-1
Sumrerng Kruamai (THA) d. Steve Baldwin (USA) 6-1, 6-1
Steve Welch (USA) d. Suthi Klongrua (THA) 6-2, 7-6[5]
Suthi Klongrua & Suwitchai Merngrprom (THA) d. Steve Baldwin & Steve Welch (USA) 6-4, 7-6[2]
 
Quad Event Semifinals: USA defeated Japan 3-0
Nick Taylor (USA) d. Shinichi Hirata (JPN) 6-3, 6-0
David Wagner (USA) d. Mitsuteru Moroishi (JPN) 6-0, 6-0
Nick Taylor & David Wagner (USA) d. Shota Kawano & Mitsuteru Moroishi (JPN) 6-3, 6-0

Meet Nick, U.S. Quad Team Member

Headshot_Nick_Taylor
"I find myself in the game preparing for the final of World Team Cup, which is the wheelchair tennis equivalent of Davis Cup. I would love nothing more than to bring the title back home to the United States."
 
-- Nick Taylor

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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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