2023 World Team Cup: Juniors finish runner-up to Great Britain on final day in Portugal

Victoria Chiesa | May 07, 2023

For the first time in six years, the U.S. was guaranteed of finishing on the junior BNP Paribas World Team Cup podium, and despite losing out to Great Britain in a hard-fought championship match on the last day of the week-long event, the future is looking bright.


In a winner-take-all doubles match that decided the champion, Joshua Johns and Ruben Harris edged Charlie Cooper and Tomas Majetic, 7-5, 7-6(2), to give the Brits a long-awaited gold medal after they finished as runners-up in each of the last two years.


Previously in singles, Majetic defeated Harris 6-1, 6-1 in the first match to give the United States a 1-0 lead. But Johns, the second-ranked junior in the world, edged Cooper, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, to send the tie to the third and final match.

While they won't leave Portugal with the gold medal, the full body of work for the U.S. in the week was nothing but encouraging.


Winners of three straight junior World Team Cup titles from 2015-17, returned to the competition at this level after a three-year hiatus in 2021. That year, the team finished eighth; last year, one spot higher in seventh. This year, the team went 2-0 to win its round-robin group, and then beat the Netherlands in a 2-1 thriller for a spot in the final. Overall, the team went 8-1 in the matches within those three ties.


Cooper was on both of those teams, while Majetic played in 2022 and Max Wong, the third member of the trio, played in 2021. 


"It's a big step up from last year. Last year, we were honestly just fighing to win a single match," Majetic said. "This year, making it to the finals, was just crazy. It was a hard fight in the final ... but I'm really proud of the team."

The junior team and coach Paul Walker with their medals.

Cooper added: "We were both playing the top players in the world, so it's awesome for us, and it's really great to see where our games have taken us in just [the span of] a year."


After the U.S. quad team won bronze on Friday, the U.S. men and women also finished up their campaigns over the weekend. 


The women, led by two-time Paralympians Dana Mathewson and Shelby Baron and 16-year-old Maylee Phelps, finished second in their group and then defeated Germany 2-0 in one of the ensuing play-offs to finish in sixth place. The men, who also finished second in their pool, later beat Poland to finish in seventh place overall.

For more from the 2023 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, visit the USTA's event homepage or the ITF's tournament hub

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