Photo: Reg CaldecottSang-Ho Oh (KOR)
The BNP Paribas World Team Cup gets underway next week and for the first time it will be staged in Asia. The ITF’s flagship annual wheelchair tennis team competition takes place in Seoul, Korea Republic from 21-27 May, with 52 teams representing 28 countries taking part.
As well as a new venue, the World Team Cup boasts a new title sponsor in BNP Paribas and a new format. While 16 teams have contested men’s World Group 1, men’s World Group 2 and the women’s World Group in recent years, just 12 teams will contest each of the World Groups this year.
Earlier this year pre-qualification competitions were held in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, with the winners of the men’s and women’s events at each of the four regional competitions earning qualification for men’s World Group 2 and the women’s World Group.
Eight teams will once again play for the quad and junior titles in Seoul.
Another initiative for 2012 sees the men’s World Group 1 trophy renamed the Randy Snow Cup, in memory of the three-time Paralympic medallist, who died in November 2009. Snow was a member of USA’s winning World Team Cup team seven times between 1986 and 1995.
Netherlands will bid to retain both the men’s World Group 1 and women’s World Group titles, with the Dutch women looking to win an unprecedented 25th title.
USA are defending champions in the quad event, while former champions Netherlands will be among the favourites in the junior event, which is once again supported by the Johan Cruyff Foundation, in the absence of 2011 winners Spain.
For all BNP Paribas World Team Cup updates, visit the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Website: www.itftennis.com/wheelchair