By Jeremiah Yolkut
It was a rainy Wednesday in Nottingham as players woke up to heavy down pours that delayed start times by several hours. To assure all matches would be played the tournament moved the women and quad teams to off-site locations throughout Nottingham. For the U.S. quad team this meant a 40 minute bus ride to meet the Dutch while the women jaunted across town 20 minutes to meet host country Great Britain. Quad Team
Nick Taylor (USA) vs. Dorrie Timmermans (Netherlands)
In 2008 Taylor and Timmerman faced each other in a tough battle at the World Team Cup in Cremona, Italy. This time the venue changed, but the result did not as Timmermans forced Taylor off his game. In the first set Taylor couldn’t get any consistent rhythm to shine through losing 4-6. In the second set Taylor turned it around and found some holes in Timmerman’s forehand forcing her to return balls to his sweet spot and taking the set 6-4. It was the third set that saw Taylor going for power instead of his usual finesse causing him to miss balls and make unforced errors. Timmermans never lost her touch taking the set and match 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
David Wagner (USA) vs. Bas Van Erp (Netherlands)
It would be up to Wagner to salvage his singles and force the decisive doubles. Wagner didn’t disappoint taking Van Erp’s every shot and spreading him around the court in a dominating 6-0, 6-1 victory.
Wagner and Taylor (USA) vs. Timmermans and Van Erp (Germany)
As the rain pelted the roof of the Loughborough University Tennis Center, Wagner and Taylor were set for a rematch of the 2008 World Team Cup quad final. Taylor and Wagner lost a heartbreaker to the Dutch that year and lost their streak of quad titles.
In the 2009 version of the Dutch-U.S. rivalry the Americans showed their old style of play with Wagner at the net and Taylor staying back. Taylor used his high lobs to make the Dutch scatter and Wagner put balls away at the net. The two-time Paralympic gold medalists won the set 6-1, 6-2 and took the tie, locking up the #1 seed in their half of the draw as they move to the cross-over semi-final.
They take on Israel, the No. 2 finisher in that pod on Thursday. Women’s Team
Emmy Kaiser (USA) and Jordanne Whiley (Great Britain)
The battle of the former junior stars did not disappoint. Whiley came out strong taking a quick 5-2 lead in the first set only to see Kaiser battle back and bring it to 5-5. After a few tough games Whiley was too much for Kaiser and took the set 7-5. In the second set it was close early, but a few bad return games cost Kaiser the set and match 5-7, 2-6. Both countries can look forward to future battles between these two up and coming stars.
Dana Mathewson (USA) and Lucy Shuker (Great Britain)
Mathewson struggled from the start as Shuker never allowed her to find her form. Playing inspired tennis in front of her home crowd, Shuker dominated the first set with precision ground strokes cruising easily to a 6-0 victory. The second set brought some improvement for Mathewson as she came alive on her first two service games, but ultimately was overmatched suffering a 6-2 loss. Britain's No. 1 Lucy Shuker never allowed the young American a chance to get her “A” game in motion.
The women’s team will now fight an experienced Italian team on Thursday as they look to stay alive and battle for fifth place later in the week.