Doubles leads women past France,
Quads to 3-0 in Group in Sardinia
Victoria Chiesa | September 29, 2021
Victories in deciding doubles helped the U.S. women's and quad teams to their next round-robin victories, and spots in the knockout rounds, at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup on Wednesday in Sardinia. A 2-1 victory against France gave the women a 2-0 record to help them advance out of Group 4, while a 2-1 victory over Japan helped the quad team secure a spot in their knockout rounds with a 3-0 Group B record.
After splitting singles matches against France, where Shelby Baron was beaten by Pauline Deroulede, 6-2, 6-3, and Dana Mathewson defeated Charlotte Fairbank with the loss of just one game, 6-0, 6-1, Mathewson and Emmy Kaiser stepped up to seal the overall victory. After losing the first set to Deroulede and Fairbank, the U.S. duo rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 10-6 victory in a match tiebreak to come away from group play undefeated.ADVERTISEMENT
The U.S. quad team also split its singles matches against Japan as Bryan Barten scored a point behind a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Shota Kawano, but David Wagner was again beaten by rival Koji Sugeno in three sets, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. Unable to reverse the singles result from the pair's recent meetings at both the Tokyo Paralympics and the US Open, Wagner nonetheless got his revenge against Sugeno and Kawano in the doubles to clinch the tie, partnering Nick Taylor to a 4-6, 6-2, 10-4 victory.
The junior squad dropped a 3-0 decision against France to fall to 0-2 in pool play, but nearly came away with its first match victory of the week. In singles, 13-year-old Charlie Cooper battled in a marathon, three-set loss to Damien Dubois with the U.S. delegation supporting him courtside.
"I played well and I had match points, but I just couldn't finish it today. I felt the energy and I always do better when there are more people there. Hearing my name a lot just pumps me up and I get ready to go. It helps me focus and to have something to win for," Cooper said.. "This was my second match ever in the World Team Cup, and I had fun. It's a blast out here and I'm hopeful to get to more of these and win some soon."
In the semifinals, the U.S. women will face title favorites the Netherlands, a team which lost just four games in 12 sets played in the round robin. The Dutch team not only boasts world No. 1 Diede de Groot, who completed a historic Golden Slam at the US Open earlier this month, and world No. 3 Aniek van Koot, but former world No. 1 and 13-time Grand Slam champion Jiske Griffioen, who returned to tennis late in 2019 after a two-year retirement. In the quad 1-to-4 playoff, the U.S. team faces South Africa.
The U.S. men were off on Wednesday and, with a 1-1 round-robin record, will play their final Group 2 match against Chile on Thursday.
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
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