NOTTINGHAM, Great Britain
-- The 25th Anniversary of the Invacare World Team Cup (IWTC) kicked off with opening ceremonies at the Nottingham Tennis Center on Sunday evening. The 2009 edition of the IWTC, often referred to as the wheelchair tennis equivalent of pro tennis’ Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions, features 31 countries and 180 athletes.
Team USA’s 19 person delegation was given a rousing ovation as they continued the 25 year streak of America’s presence at the World Team Cup. The American contingent, like every country represented at the competition was escorted to the stadium by children donning country specific face paint.
After the opening ceremony and official draw the athletes and staff were treated to a worldly dinner featuring 8 different cuisines from a sampling of countries. While the food was excellent many US athletes questioned the choice of Blue Cheese Hamburgers as the featured American fare.
With ties beginning on Monday Team USA received several favorable draws and will have all four teams competing on Day 1. The #1 seeded quad team will dual with Canada, as the juniors take on Spain. The men’s team will take on the Slovak Republic, while the women’s team will battle with Austria.
Check back daily for results and more information on the event. Click here for a photo gallery of the Opening Ceremonies.