U.S. Women, Quads Score 3-0 wins on Day 2 of World Team Cup
Not to be outdone after the men's and quad teams picked up victories on Day 1, Team USA's women's squad picked up a 3-0 victory over Colombia to start their camapaign at the 2021 BNP Paribas World Team Cup on Tuesday.
In singles, Shelby Baron started the effort with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Johana Martinez, before Dana Mathewson clinched the tie with a 7-6(5), 0-6, 6-2 victory over Angelica Bernal in a match between a current and former Top 10 player. Mathewson arrived at the World Team Cup ranked world No. 9, while Bernal is currently ranked No. 12, but boasts a career-high of No. 8. The Americans swept the tie thanks to a 6-4, 2-6, 10-7 victory for Mathewson and Emmy Kaiser in doubles over Bernal and Martinez.
"I think as a team, we all played really well. Our energy was really good today. It's the first time we've played together, the three of us, on a [World Team Cup] team in quite some time," Mathewson said. "Shelby played great and got the job done really quickly, and it took me a lot longer. Overall, I liked how we really didn't give up today, especially in the doubles with Emmy and me going to three sets after my singles also went three. I think our conviction was really good. We just played through it and made USA proud."
"I think we came in with a job and a plan, and we executed it," Baron added. "There were some moments where it was easy for us to maybe want to give up, but we powered through it. I'm proud of my team and how we fought."
After sweeping Canada on Monday, the U.S. quad delegation moved to 2-0 after another dominant performance against Brazil. In a pair of contrasting singles victories, Bryan Barten rallied from a set down to beat Leandro Pena, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3, while David Wagner surrendered just four games in a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Ymanitu Silva, whom he'd needed three sets to defeat at last month's Paralympics in Tokyo. To sweep the tie, the timeless doubles duo of Wagner and Nick Taylor, teaming up in a competitive match for the first time since last March, recorded a 6-1, 6-1 win over Pena and Silva.
"We're really happy to start 6-0. It's a great experience here in Sardinia and we're just ecstatic to be here again," Barten said. "We've got a lot of experience on this team and I think that's showed in how we've taken care of business so far."
All four teams were in action on Day 2, with the men suffering a 3-0 setback against Spain to drop to 1-1 in round-robin play. After each lost their singles matches in straight sets, Casey Ratzlaff and Conner Stroud pushed hard for a victory in doubles but fell just short in a match tiebreak, 6-4, 4-6, 11-9. Finally, playing in the junior competition for the first time since 2017, Team USA, with four players making their World Team Cup debut, fell to a high-ranking Dutch team, 3-0. In singles, Maylee Phelps of Portland, Ore. faced the top-ranked player in the world junior rankings, Lizzy de Greef, while Charlie Cooper of La Quinta, Calif. faced world No. 8 Robin Groenewoud. In doubles, the mixed pair of Gaila Fosbinder (Charlotte, N.C.) and Max Wong (Flushing, N.Y.) were beaten by Groenewoud and world No. 7 Maarten Ter Hofte.
On Day 3, the quad team closes out their round-robin play against Japan as it looks to officially confirm its place in the knockout rounds. The women will face France in their second round-robin match, as Mathewson eyes a Paralympic rematch against good friend Charlotte Fairbank, while the juniors also take on France in their second round-robin tie.
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.
Team USA at the 2021 World Team Cup - Round Robin Draws
Men's Group 2: USA, Israel, Spain and Chile
Women's Group 4: USA, Colombia and France
Quad Group B: USA, Canada, Brazil and Japan
Juniors Group 1: USA, the Netherlands, France and Great Britain
More from the 2021 World Team Cup
Pictured above: Conner Stroud and Dana Mathewson smiling on Day 2.