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World Team Cup History

April 30, 2010 04:23 PM
The World Team Cup was created in 1985 due to the growth of foreign participation in the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships. It began more as a fun event that was used as a warm-up tournament the weekend before the US Open. It was also felt that it would create international camaraderie and one day the tournament would stand on its own. Just six men's teams competed in the inaugural event with women joining the competition with two teams the following year.

By 1991, the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships and the World Team Cup had grown beyond anyone's expectations and having the events back to back was too much. It was hard on the tournament organisers and the top players and it was felt the time had come to move to a new location and a different time of year.

Following discussions at the 1991 IWTF Annual General Meeting, Belgium said that they would love to hold the event and in 1992, the World Team Cup moved outside the USA for the first time. In addition, the IWTF office had been established in London for one year and was able to offer support and assistance to new host nations, taking the huge organisational responsibility away from the NFWT.

The 2004 Invacare World Team Cup, held in Christchurch, New Zealand, marked the event's 20th Anniversary. The event has now been staged in 13 different countries and is a massive stand-alone tournament with over 300 participants and around 150 additional guests and coaches each year.

In 2010 the Invacare World Team Cup marks its 26th Anniversary when Antalya, Turkey, hosts the ITF's flagship annual wheelchair tennis team event for the first time.

"There is no question that representing your country while playing sport is an extremely exciting and rewarding feeling, one that only a select few will ever experience. The World Team Cup gave wheelchair tennis a new meaning when it first occurred in 1985 and the sport truly became international."
- Brad Parks, USA
Courtesy ITF


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