By Jeremiah Yolkut
The first day of competition at the Invacare World Team Cup saw all four United States teams in action. The men faced off against the Slovak Republic, while the quad team played Canada. The juniors competed against Spain as the women dueled with Austria in the afternoon tie. Men’s Team
John Becker (USA) vs. David Chabrecek (Slovak Republic)
The gloomy weather was not the ideal setting for John Becker’s inaugural World Team Cup match, but the Floridian acclimated to the foreign weather rather well as he battled David Chabrecek in the first men’s match of the day. Becker came out roaring winning 6-2 in the first as he looked like a wily veteran in his rookie match. In the second set Becker showed a little more of those first-timer nerves, but ultimately never let the nerves overtake him as he stayed the course and put away the match with a 9-7(7) victory.
Paul Moran (USA) vs. Josef Felix (Slovak Republic)
2008 Paralympian Paul Moran would continue the men’s tie as he took on Josef Felix in the second men’s match of the day. Moran started off strong making Felix scramble and took the first set 6-3. In the second set Moran seemed off his game and quickly fell behind Felix never recovering, 0-6. It would come down to the third set where Moran couldn’t turn the tide as the Slovakian proved too much; finishing off the match 2-6 and forcing the decisive doubles
Moran and Becker (USA) vs. Felix and Marek Gergely(Slovak Republic)
In the first set both Becker and Moran seemed slightly off and couldn’t recover from several unforced errors losing 2-6 in quick order. As the vital second set settled in the U.S. men were searching for a way to maneuver around the steady play of Felix and Gergely, but after fighting back to a 4-4 tie the opponents proved too tough, securing the tie with a 6-4 victory over Team USA.
The men take on Germany on Tuesday as they look to keep their spot in World Group 1 for 2010. Quad Team
The #1 seeded quad team took on its neighbor to the north, Canada, in their its first IWTC tie of the tournament.
Nick Taylor (USA) vs. Adrian Dielman (Canada)
World No. 4 Nick Taylor came out strong against Adrian Dielman in the first match of the tie showing a comfortable strength only a veteran could carry. Taylor’s shot selection was impeccable as he proved too much for Dielman and defeated him handily, 6-1, 6-0.
David Wagner (USA) vs. Sarah Hunter (Canada)
In the second singles of the day David Wagner faced off against familiar foe, Sarah Hunter. Wagner, coming off a strong British Open championship took the first set 6-4 and seemed ready to secure the tie. Hunter had different ideas as she battled back and dominated the second set, 3-6. It was the third set that brought the most drama of the match as Wagner went down early, but quickly rebounded taking the set and assuring a victorious tie with a 6-4 win.
Wagner and Taylor (USA) vs. Hunter and Lookers (Canada)
In the doubles Wagner and Taylor dominated with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Hunter and Gary Lukers, sweeping the tie 3-0 and showing off their No. 1 seed in full form.
They face Team Japan on Tuesday as they look towards returning the World Team Cup to the US after a one year hiatus. Junior Team
Mackenzie Soldan(USA) vs. Daniel Caverzachi (Spain)
Mackenzie Soldan took the courts first for the fourth seeded U.S. junior team in its tie against Spain. Soldan pushed hard and started off strong as she battled Daniel Caverzachi in No. 2 singles, but after two tough sets and some brilliantly placed shots, Soldan fell in the first tie 4-6, 3-6.
Dylan Levine (USA) vs. Roberto Chamizo (Spain)
It was up to Dylan Levine to salvage the tie as he warred with Roberto Chamizo in the second match of the day. Levine came out with power and stormed past Chamizo 6-1 in the first set. Levine looked bigger, stronger and more in control throughout the set as he dominated his young opponent. In the second set, the talented Spaniard turned the match around quickly storming to a 3-1 lead before Levine opened his veteran bag of IWTC tricks and took the second set in comeback fashion 7-5.
Levine and Soldan(USA) vs. Chamizo and Caverzaschi (Spain)
The junior tie would move to the doubles to decide the final results for day one of the round-robin event. Levine paired with Soldan as rookie teammate Ryan Nelson cheered from the sideline. Chamizo and Caverzaschi came out strong forcing Levine and Soldan to fall 4-6 in the first set as the Americans struggled to find a consistent rhythm. The second set was a battle with the Spaniards taking an early 4-1 lead only to see the Americans draw it even at 4-4. With Levine serving at 6-5 Chamizo and Caverzaschi broke the Americans and forced a decisive tie-break. In what was a one-sided tie-break Team Spain was too much, taking the match 7-6(1) and the day’s tie.
The juniors will face Argentina on Tuesday as they look towards securing their first win of the week. Women’s Team
Emmy Kaiser(USA) vs. Margrit Fink( Austria)
World Team Cup veteran Emmy Kaiser started anew in 2009 as she joined the women’s team after five years of battling on the junior team. Her first test would be a match-up against Austrian veteran, Margrit Fink. Fink battled and tried to take advantage of Kaiser’s youth, but to no avail as the young American cruised to a 6-4, 7-5 victory passing her first women’s test with few problems.
Dana Mathewson(USA) vs. Brigitte Seyer (Austria)
The theme of this year’s American team is youth and Dana Mathewson continued that trend as she also faced her first women’s team match in World Team Cup play. Mathewson faced Brigitte Seyer in the second match of the day as the sun began to set on the Nottingham Tennis Center. The strength of the recent high-school graduate was too much for Seyer as Mathewson didn’t give up a game in a 6-0, 6-0 crushing victory.
While the women secured their tie for the day, they would go for the sweep in the first night match of the 2009 IWTC using their doubles specialist, Hope Lewellen.
Mathewson-Lewellen (USA) vs. Seyer-Fink (Austria)
Long-time wheelchair tennis veteran Lewellen joined Dana Mathewson in doubles as they secured a sweep in the tie with another strong performance 6-0 6-2 sending the women into the next round of the competition.
The women’s team takes on the host nation’s No. 2 seeded British team on Wednesday. Click here to view the photo gallery from Day One