National

Quad Team Dominates Day One  of World Team Cup

Jason Allen | May 28, 2018


Round robin play started Monday at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup, in Alperdoorn, Netherlands, with the USA Quad and men’s team starting their campaign for the trophy. 

 

Although the USA is not competing on home turf, there was no shortage of support. In the crowd of spectators was a large group of Apeldoorn children who came out to support the USA Quad team. They prepared a large iteration of the American flag, another large poster showing support, individual letters they placed on the fence that spelled out “Go Team USA” and cheered loudly with noisemakers.

 

The Quad Team, coached by Kevin Heim, had a strong start against Canada, defeating its Northern neighbors, 3-0. 

 

USA’s  Bryan Barten defeatd Canadian Gary Luker in the No. 2 singles match, 6-2, 6-2. 

 

World No. 1 and Team USA member David Wagner prevailed over Canada’s Rob Shaw in a three set battle, 6-1, 6-7, 6-2. 

 

Wagner took the momentum from his singles match over to doubles, where he teamed up with Nick Taylor to outlast the team of Gary Luker and Mitch McIntyre, capturing the match, 6-2, 6-2.

 

 “Today was a good start to the event as we look to improve each round,” said Coach Heim. “It was nice to be able to play a true friendly against our Canadian neighbors who we know well. We dipped our toes in the water today and tomorrow will jump in head first against Great Britain.”

 

The Men’s team faced a tough adversary in Team Belgium and dropped the tie, 0-3.

 

Florida native Chris Herman fell to Jeff Vandorpe, 6-3, 6-2. Casey Ratzlaff played against Belgium’s Joachim Gerard, a top ranked player and NEC Singles Masters Champion, defeated Casey Ratzlaff, 6-0, 6-1. Raztlaff paired up with three time junior World Team Cup champion Conner Stroud in the doubles match against Gerard and Vandorpe, ultimately falling 6-1, 6-0. 

 

Jason Harnett, Team USA Wheelchair Tennis Coach said, “We knew coming into this tie that we were going to be challenged from both Gerard and Vandorpe. We saw this as an opportunity for our team to gauge how much harder they need to work in order to compete with the elites of the sport. This event will provide several more opportunities for us to compete with the very best in wheelchair tennis and we will learn and grow.”

 

The Women’s team of Dana Mathewson, Shelby Baron and Mackenzie Soldan kicks of their first tie tomorrow against Great Britain. Jon Rydberg is the women's team captain  is no stranger to this event. Rydberg is a former touring professional and four-time Paralympian.

 

Rydberg said, “the women’s team had three good days of practice and will face a tough team tomorrow against Great Britain. The ladies feel confident about it and are looking forward to the challenge.

 

The Quad team faces Great Britain tomorrow and will attempt to avenge  a semi-final loss to them last year at the World Team Cup in Sardinia, Italy.

 

Joanne Wallen, Director of Wheelchair Tennis and Adult Individual Play for the USTA, commented, “It is always a pleasure to watch the teams come together in this very special event. It makes for a different atmosphere when all the players are able to support each other and represent their countries. It was extra special today for Team USA as we spent some time reflecting about Memorial Day by showing our respect and appreciation for those that have served our amazing country.”

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