U.S. JUNIORS EYEING THREE-PEAT
AT WORLD TEAM CUP
Ashley Marshall | April 19, 2017
Team USA's junior wheelchair tennis players will look to complete the three-peat at the 2017 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, and America's women and quad players are expected to be in medal contention, too.
The USTA announced its squads for the premier international team competition, to be held in Italy, May 1-7.
The nation’s top players will compete against participants from around the globe at the Baia di Conte and Alghero Tennis Club in Sardinia, and the U.S. is optimistic for another set of strong results in the annual event, often referred to as the Davis Cup and Fed Cup of wheelchair tennis.
After winning titles in 2015 and 2016, the U.S. junior team will look for a third victory in a row, but it will have to accomplish the feat without a few familiar faces. Returning member Conner Stroud will step into the lead role with his year’s group after Chris Herman and Casey Ratzlaff aged out of the junior division. ADVERTISEMENT Newcomers Joanna Nieh and Nathan Melnyk will look to add their names as World Team Cup champions.
The quad team will look to regain its title after a fifth-place finish last year. The team will be led by three-time Paralympic doubles gold medalists David Wagner and Nick Taylor and joined by two-time Paralympian Bryan Barten.
The U.S. women’s team will be led by 2016 Paralympian Dana Mathewson as it looks to improve on its eighth-place finish from last year. Matthewson will be joined by fellow Paralympian Mackenzie Soldan and University of Alabama freshman Lauren Haneke-Hopps.
A total of 40 teams representing 29 countries will take part in the 2017 competition, held on hard courts. U.S. teams will compete in the women’s World Group (12 nations), quad event (8 teams) and junior event (8 teams).
After finishing outside the Top 12 at last year’s event, the men’s team was relegated to the World Team Cup qualifying event earlier this year in March in Quito, Ecuador. After finishing as the runners-up to Brazil, the men will have to wait until 2018 for a shot to win the World Team Cup qualifying event to make it back into the World group.
Representing the U.S. at the 2017 BNP Paribas World Team Cup will be:
Paul Walker (Coach), Lakeland, Fla.
Dana Mathewson, San Diego
Mackenzie Soldan, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Lauren Haneke-Hopps, San Diego
John Devorss (Coach), Salem, Ore.
Bryan Barten, Tucson, Ariz.
Nick Taylor, Wichita, Kan.
David Wagner, Hillsboro, Ore.
Jason Harnett (Coach), Orlando, Fla.
Conner Stroud, Spindale, N.C.
Joanna Nieh, New York
Nathan Melnyk, New York
Jenna Street, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jason Allen, Orlando, Fla.