U.S. World Team Cup
Erin Maher | May 14, 2018
The nation's top wheelchair tennis players and coaches have been named to represent the United States at the 2018 BNP Paribas World Team Cup. Ten wheelchair players, led by three coaches, will compete in the international competition, which will be held May 28-June 3 at the TC Sprenkelaar and TV De Maaten the Baia in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.
The World Team Cup, often referred to as the Davis Cup and Fed Cup of wheelchair tennis, is the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis event, with a total off 44 teams representing 24 countries. Teams will compete in four separate divisions: women’s (12 nations), quad (eight nations), men’s (16 nations) and juniors (eight nations).
The American women’s and quad teams will look to improve on their bronze-medal performances from last year’s event.
The women, whose bronze in 2017 was their best result since 2003, will be led by 2016 Paralympian Dana Mathewson and University of Alabama standout Shelby Baron. ADVERTISEMENT Mackenzie Soldan, who recently began training at the USTA National Campus, is also a member of the women's squad.
The quad team will be led by three-time Paralympic doubles gold medalists David Wagner and Nick Taylor and joined by two-time Paralympian Bryan Barten and Greg Hasterok.
The men’s team will once again be back in the world group after the Americans qualified back into the world group after falling out of the Top 12 two years ago.
Leading the charge for the men will be US No. 1 and world No. 37 Casey Ratzlaff. World No. 50 Chris Herman, who is fresh off his domination of the 2018 USTA National Wheelchair Collegiate Championships, and former junior World Team Cup champ Conner Stroud will also be a part of the men's team.
The three-time champion junior team will not be competing for an unprecedented fourth title, as the junior players have aged out and will be representing Team USA in the men’s division.
"We are so excited about the teams that have been selected to represent the USA at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in the Netherlands at the end of May," said USTA Director of Adult Tennis Joanne Wallen. "Last year, we came away with a gold (juniors), bronze (quads) and bronze (women), and unfortunately the men's team did not qualify.
"This year we will be fielding teams in the men's, women's and quad divisions. We are so proud that in January the men qualified into the World Group by winning the qualifying event that we hosted at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, and we look forward to having our selected teams represent the United States."
Representing the U.S. at the 2018 BNP Paribas World Team Cup will be:
Jon Rydberg, coach (Woodbury, Minn.)
Shelby Baron (Honolulu)
Dana Mathewson (San Diego)
Mackenzie Soldan (Orlando, Fla.)
Kevin Heim, coach (Lincoln Neb.)
Bryan Barten (Tucson, Ariz.)
Greg Hasterok (Chula Vista, Calif.)
Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kan.)
David Wagner (Walla Walla, Wash.)
Jason Harnett, coach (Orlando, Fla.)
Chris Herman (Gulfport, Fla.)
Casey Ratzlaff (Wichita, Kan.)
Conner Stroud (Rutherfordton, N.C.)
Click here to watch Team USA's team announcement video.
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