2017 Year in Review: U.S. Shines at
World Team Cup
E.J. Crawford | December 7, 2017
Love-15: As 2017 draws to a close, USTA.com is taking a look back at the top 15 storylines, headlines and highlights from the year in American tennis. Up now: The U.S.’s historic success at the 2017 World Team Cup.
The World Team Cup is the Davis Cup and Fed Cup of wheelchair tennis, an annual affair that brings together countries from around the world to compete in the men’s, women’s, quad and junior divisions.
The battle for a spot in the Top 3 is fierce. In 2017, Team USA proved very much up to the task.
The U.S. posted its most successful World Team Cup in more than a decade, with the juniors achieving a historic three-peat, the quad team returning to the medal stand after an uncharacteristic year’s absence and the women’s squad scoring a surprise third-place finish.
It was the first time since 2003 that the U.S. ADVERTISEMENT placed three teams on the podium at a World Team Cup.
“Team USA exceeded my expectations this year,” said national team coach Jason Harnett. “I cannot be more proud of these men and women.”
Nathan Melnyk, Joanna Nieh and World Team Cup breakout star Conner Stroud (5-0 in singles, 3-1 in doubles) led the U.S. juniors, who won their group before dismissing Brazil in the semifinals and Russia in the final. With its three successive crowns, the U.S. joined longtime wheelchair powerhouse the Netherlands (2008-10) as the only nations to win three consecutive World Team Cup junior titles.
The quad team, meantime, took third, shaking off a disappointing loss to Great Britain in the semifinals by blitzing Japan in the bronze medal match behind stalwarts Nick Taylor and David Wagner, with Bryan Barten rounding out the squad. With the win, the U.S. quad team finished in the Top 3 for the 12th time in 13 years. The lone exception was 2016, when it came in fifth.
The women, meantime, earned their first medal at a World Team Cup since 2003. The Americans entered the competition seeded 10th (out of 12 teams) but outplayed their station throughout. The U.S. upset Italy and France to win its pool and, after a loss to China in the semifinals, defeated Switzerland, 2-0, in the bronze medal match on the strength of victories from Dana Mathewson and Mackenzie Soldan. Lauren Haneke-Hopps also competed for Team USA.
For complete results and daily reports from all three U.S. teams at the 2017 World Team Cup, click here.
And for more on the history of the U.S. at the World Team Cup, click here.