By Jeremiah Yolkut
On the 7th day it all ended. The US played their final two matches of the 2009 World Team Cup on Sunday. Both matches had been postponed due to the lovely rain of Nottingham on Saturday, but Sunday’s sunny skies allowed play to resume.
Nick Taylor (USA) vs. Jamie Burdekin (Great Britain)
Taylor came out on fire as he looked to secure a singles victory that would take some of the pressure off his fellow countryman in the second match of the day. Taylor didn’t lose a service game in the first set and placed every serve away from Burdekin taking the opener 6-1. In the second set Taylor lost some of his momentum and seemed like a different player. Making several positioning mistakes and missing winners long, he lost the set 2-6. As the third set got under way Taylor never seemed to find his first set magic as he double faulted to go down 0-2 in the first two games. After winning a few games Taylor faltered again dropping the set 2-6 and the match.
David Wagner (USA) vs. Peter Norfolk (Great Britain)
Wagner knew that after beating Norfolk in the British Open last week it would be a challenge to repeat the same result in today’s tie. Wagner started the match trading games, as both competitors delivered a typical world 1 vs. 2 match-up. It was Norfolk who had too much in the first set winning the final three games 5-7. In the second set Wagner was faced with winning or going home without the World Team Cup for the second straight year. As Norfolk started strong Wagner battled back and drew the match to a 3-3 tie midway through the vital set. Wagner took a 5-3 lead with a few great service games, but it wasn’t long before Norfolk realized he was only a few games away from capturing the cup for his native Great Britain. It was that thought that drove him back taking the set to a 6-6 tie forcing a tie-breaker. It was clear from the first point that Norfolk was in control as he fired balls past Wagner serve by serve. Norfolk secured the tie and the 2009 IWTC for the British quad team, 7-6(3).
It was great tournament for Team USA, but second place for the second straight year just didn’t have the ring the Americans were looking for.
Emmy Kaiser (USA) vs. Sabine Ellerbrock (Germany)
The women had to wait a few days to get a crack at their last IWTC opponent for 2009, but Kaiser didn’t seemed fazed by the delay. Kaiser came out strong with a solid 6-2 win against her German opponent in the opening set. In the second set Ellerbrock awoke and battled Kaiser to a 6-4 victory. It was the third and final set that would cost the US any chance at a quick afternoon as the very strong German stormed past Kaiser, taking the match 6-2.
Dana Mathewson (USA) vs. Katharina Kruger (Germany)
It was up to the other team rookie to secure a singles victory and avoid a 6th place finish for the US women in IWTC play. Mathewson came out on a high and stayed the course throughout the tie. In what might have been her best singles match in recent memory, Mathewson overtook the world #8 player and confidently controlled the match. In the first set Kruger used her experience to keep Mathewson a bit nervous, but couldn’t take the young American’s tenacity, dropping the set 4-6. From her back-hand winner to go up 2-1 or her cross-court winner to get to 5-1, Mathewson was thrilling to watch. The crowd was wowed and Kruger seemed stunned. As she slammed her forehand winner down the line taking Kruger in straight sets the crowd went crazy as the two teams would go to doubles to decide the tie and 5th place.
Dana Mathewson and Emmy Kaiser (USA) vs. Sabine Ellerbrock and Katharina Kruger (Germany)
In the final women’s match of the 2009 IWTC Mathewson and Kaiser looked to secure 5th place for the American women after a great week of tennis. After going down early in the first set both Mathewson and Kaiser seemed to turn on their engines, firing balls back at the Germans like rain drops in Nottingham. Both ladies used strong serving and careful chair movement to keep their guard up. After taking the first set 6-4 the women looked to continue their strong play in what they hoped would be their final set of WTC 2009. Mathewson looked controlled as Kaiser looked confident in the second set, communicating like experienced professionals. They placed the ball in between the German pair causing confusion and looks of misunderstanding between the strong doubles team. As Kaiser served for the match there was no doubt that this would be the end of the day for Team USA, but instead of being disappointed like earlier in the day, everyone walked away optimistic about the future of the 5th place women’s team. By the way, they won the set 6-4!
It was another great Invacare World Team Cup for Team USA. The teams fought hard and represented their country well. As Team USA look towards Turkey in 2010 we can be assured that good things are just around the corner. Well done Team USA.
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