Quads edge South Africa to Reach World Team Cup Final
Team USA will bid for a 10th quad title at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup after a 2-1 victory over South Africa in Thursday's semifinals. Once again down to the deciding doubles, the legendary team of Nick Taylor and David Wagner delivered another memorable victory in a match tiebreak.
Previously in singles, Bryan Barten opened with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Danny Mohlamonyane, before world No. 15 Donald Ramphadi saved two set points in the opening set to eventually beat Wagner, 7-6(4), 6-4. Though Mohlamonyane and Ramphadi, playing just their fourth match as a team, bounced back after a one-sided opening set to force a winner-take-all breaker, Taylor and Wagner proved too strong there to win, 6-1, 3-6, 10-5.
The U.S. last won the quad title at the World Team Cup in 2015 by defeating Japan in the final, 2-1, and the two teams will against square off in the final this year in a rematch of their group stage encounter that was won by the Americans on Wednesday by the same score. Barten was a victor in singles in that tie, while Taylor and Wagner delivered the deciding doubles victory.
In the women's semifinals, Team USA was beaten by title favorites the Netherlands, 2-0. Boasting a trio of players who've reached world No. 1, including current top player Diede de Groot, the Dutch won the tie by winning both singles matches in straight sets. Making her first World Team Cup appearance since 2016, Jiske Griffioen defeated Shelby Baron, 6-2, 6-2, before de Groot sealed a 6-3, 6-1 win over Dana Mathewson. The U.S. women will play Great Britain on Saturday for third place.
Finally, the U.S. men's team finished group play on a high by beating Chile, 2-1, to finish round-robin play at 2-1 overall. Casey Ratzlaff and Conner Stroud led the Americans to victory in the tie by winning their singles matches: Stroud opened the tie with a 6-3, 6-7(8), 6-1 win over Brayan Tapia, before Ratzlaff cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Jaime Sepulveda. Though they did not advance out of their group, the men will next play in the 5th-to-8th playoff round. They will face Japan on Saturday while Poland plays Sri Lanka, and the winners in the group will play Sunday for fifth place overall.
The flagship national team competition of wheelchair tennis runs through Oct. 3, and Team USA is competing in all four disciplines: men's, women's, quads and juniors. The event was not held in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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