Britain’s men’s, quad and junior teams all booked their place in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup on the third day of thrilling competition in Tokyo, Japan.
Eighteen-year-old Alfie Hewett was the stand out performer for Great Britain as he defeated the world No.6 Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina 7-6(0), 6-3 to put the tie beyond Argentina’s reach after Marc McCarroll had earlier beaten Agustin Ledesma 6-4, 6-3.
Despite Dermot Bailey and Paul Stewart losing the doubles rubber 6-1, 6-1 the British team had already done enough to secure their place in the semi-finals, where they will play the hosts Japan.
“I’m delighted, it’s my first win over Gustavo and I was really pleased with my performance. With it being a team event, watching Marc play his match this morning got me pumped and got me up for it and sparked something in me,” said Hewett.
“I think that was one of the toughest matches I’ve played in my career both mentally and physically. He’s someone who won’t give you anything; you’ve got to earn your points. Even at 4-2, 40-15 down he never gave up. It’s another top 10 player that I’ve beaten which gives me a massive confidence boost. In the past I’ve struggled with keeping my cool in pressured moments but I’m working with a new sports psychologist and I have ways of coping now. I can get quite emotional and animated so keeping my cool on the big points was crucial.”
Britain’s quad team of Andy Lapthorne, Jamie Burdekin and Antony Cotterill also booked their place in the semi-finals after beating Israel 2-1 to win their group after earlier 3-0 wins over Canada and South Africa. They will also face the hosts Japan in the semis.
Despite Antony Cotterill slipping to a defeat to London 2012 quad singles Gold medallist Noam Gershony in the opening game, Lapthorne levelled the tie by beating Boaz Kramer 6-1. 6-0. Despite a slow start in the doubles, dropping the opening set, Lapthorne and Burdekin battled through to win the deciding match tiebreak 10-4.
“A win’s and win and that’s all that matters, you’ve got to have a smile on your face after a win” said Burdekin. “We’re all doing the right things; we’re all training, eating right and trying to sleep right and look forward to the semis.”
Fellow team member Antony Cotterill added: “As a team morale is really high and everything is good. We’ve had some good results and good performances. We’ve got the number one seeding and it’s down to us to live up to that. There are some strong nations so it’ll be tough but we’ll do our utmost in the semis against Japan.”
Two strong singles performances helped Britain’s juniors beat Japan 2-1 and make the semi-finals at the expense of fourth seeds Belgium who they beat into third in their group.
After defeating Katsuki Shimizu 6-0, 6-0 in his opening singles match 14 year-old Ruairi Logan said: “I played well and took my opportunities today. It’s the first time that I’ve been so aggressive and hit that hard into the corners, I moved him around a lot and felt in control. I’m learning so much during this tournament and it’s been great.”
Josh Cooper them followed his teammate’s example by battling through his singles 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to secure an unassailable 2-0 lead in the tie. Logan then joined Ben Johnson Rolfe in the doubles to beat the Japanese 6-3, 5-7, 10-4 and secure the tie 3-0.
Britain’s women endured a tough day against hosts Japan, losing all three matches in the tie. World Team Cup senior debutante Luz Esperanza Merry made a good start against Kanako Domori but was eventually outplayed, losing 6-3, 6-1.
Louise Hunt lost out to world No.2 Yui Kamiji 6-1, 6-1 and Japan then wrapped up the tie 3-0 with Kamiji and Domori teaming up to defeat Hunt and Lauren Jones 6-0, 6-3.
Britain will face Japan in the semi-finals of the men’s and quad competitions tomorrow, with the juniors playing the USA. Britain’s women will play for places 9-12 over the next two days, facing Morocco tomorrow.
Great Britain’s quad team maintained their one hundred percent record in the World Team Cup group stages after beating South Africa 3-0. Meanwhile it was a tough day for Britain’s women’s and junior teams as they lost their ties to Thailand and the Netherlands respectively.
Spearheaded by Andy Lapthorne’s excellent three-set win against the current World No.3 Lucas Sithole, the team completed a 3-0 whitewash of the South Africans with Jamie Burdekin beating Bongani Dlamini 6-3, 6-0 and Lapthorne and Burdekin teaming up to win the doubles 6-1, 6-0.
The team will now look to maintain their 100% record and qualify for the semi-finals as winners of their pool when they face Israel tomorrow.
“It’s good to get my first win of the week under my belt and we’re chuffed to win the tie 3-0,” said Burdekin.
“I had a bit of a tough week last week at the Super Series in Japan so I needed that win and it was great for Andy to beat Lucas. We’ve been bullish about our chances this week because we want to win it; we never want to come second. Winning your third world title has got a nice win to it, especially in a Paralympic year with all the other players looking at you, it’s nice to give them a warning shot and let them know that we’re there,” he added.
After a day off yesterday Britain’s women got their campaign underway as they faced Thailand. There was heartbreak for senior World Team Cup debutant Lauren Jones who, after a good start, slipped to a three set loss to Wanitha Inthanin 7-6(4), 4-6, 4-6.
“It’s been quite a long, emotional day but I’ve enjoyed it and learnt a lot. It was nice to finish with a win and we played well especially in that first set,” said Jones.
“There were certain points in the singles where I got tight and I struggled and I need to learn from that. That’s one of the hardest things about tennis; you have to learn from those situations. It hurts right now but I’ll learn from it and in the future will be able to kick on and win those tight matches,” she added.
Britain’s number one player Louise Hunt never recovered from a slow start against Sakhorn Khanthasit as she went down 6-0, 6-3 which saw Thailand take an unassailable lead into the doubles rubber. Jones teamed up with Hunt to restore some pride to win the doubles 6-3, 7-6(4). Britain’s women will face Japan tomorrow as they aim to keep their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals alive.
“The last thing I want to do is lose on my birthday but that’s what happens sometimes. I’m proud of how we stuck together as a team and I think it was nice to end on a win, and a win where we played really well,” said Hunt.
Following their excellent win against Belgium yesterday the junior team weren’t able to spring an upset on the second seeds the Netherlands. Ben Johnson Rolfe, making his World Team Cup debut, lost 6-1, 6-1 to Sam Schroder whilst Ruairi Logan went down 6-3, 6-0 to Ruben Spaargaren to hand the Netherlands the tie. The doubles also went the way of the Netherlands with Schroder and Spaargaren winning 6-3, 6-1.
All four British teams will be in action tomorrow as they bid to qualify for the semi-finals.
Great Britain’s quad, men’s and junior teams got their World Team Cup campaigns underway with wins as the BNP Paribas World Team Cup began in Tokyo. The quad and men’s teams secured comprehensive 3-0 tie wins against Austria and Canada, respectively, whilst the juniors won the deciding doubles match to beat Belgium 2-1.
Britain’s women begin their campaign against Thailand tomorrow.
With Great Britain being number one seeds for the quad event Antony Cotterill kicked things off with a hard fought 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Sarah Hunter of Canada. World No.4 Andy Lapthorne then followed this up with a comfortable straight sets win over Gary Luker, racing through 6-1, 6-1. The doubles pairing of Lapthorne and Cotterill then wrapped up the tie with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Mika Ishikawa and Rob Shaw. The team will continue their quest to qualify as winners of their group when they play South Africa tomorrow.
“Ant did a good job and put us 1-0 up in the tie which is always nice. I just went out there and tried to win as quickly as possible and save as much energy as possible. We’ve got a long week and have got some tough teams to play so to win 6-1, 6-1 was great,” said Lapthorne.
“We’re coming in confident as a team and I think we can do something special this week. We’re number one seeds for a reason and anything less than gold would be a huge disappointment for us. We’ve beaten Canada now and that’s the first step. South Africa tomorrow will be tough and then we face Israel, who have a strong team. We need to get through the group first and then we’ve got the big boy clashes potentially against Australia and America,” he added.
Britain’s men got their World Group title defence off to the perfect start with World Team Cup senior debutant Dermot Bailey racing to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Thomas Flax of Austria. Marc McCarroll, on his return from two months out from injury, wasted no time in seeing off Nico Langmann, 6-0, 6-0.
Bailey then paired up with Paul Stewart to win the doubles 6-4, 7-6(2) to wrap up the 3-0 whitewash over Austria.
“For my first match back after two and half months out it was great. I’d never played him before, he goes for his shots and is really aggressive so it was all about being consistent and making it awkward for him,” said McCarroll.
After winning his opening singles and doubles matches at the World Team Cup, Bailey said: “It’s not been a bad World Team Cup senior men’s debut! I didn’t feel too nervous beforehand, I felt confident going in to the match. We knew that if we clicked for a few games and in the tie-break that we’d be okay. We lost a bit of concentration in the tie-break but we got it together. The support has been great and Karen (Ross, team captain) has been amazing. There’s a bit more pressure playing for Great Britain than for just yourself on the normal tour, but it’s a great atmosphere here.”
Britain’s juniors faced a tough test against fourth seeds Belgium. However, Ruairi Logan got them off to the perfect start with a confident 6-3, 6-0 win over Justin Peraux. Josh Cooper was unable to follow his team mate in victory and slipped to a 6-2, 6-3 loss to Jef Vandorpe. The tie then came down to a deciding doubles match with Logan and Cooper prevailing 6-0, 6-2 over Peraux and Vandorpe to clinch the tie.
Britain’s quad team will begin their quest for a third BNP Paribas World Team Cup title as they play Canada tomorrow as the action gets underway at Ariake Colosseum,Tokyo, Japan.
Top seeds for the tournament, the team of Andy Lapthorne, Jamie Burdekin and Antony Cotterill will also face South Africa and Israel in the group stages as they bid to reach the semi-finals. With the same three players having claimed the title in 2014, the team will be full of confidence, particularly following Lapthorne and Burdekin’s win in the doubles at the recent Japan Open Super Series.
Meanwhile Britain’s men will begin the defence of their BNP Paribas World Team Cup title against Austria. The team of Alfie Hewett, Marc McCarroll, Dermot Bailey and Paul Stewart will aim to defend the World Group title won for the first time last year.
Seeded fifth, Britain will face Argentina along with Austria in the group stages as they look to reach the semi-finals at the end of the week.
Britain’s women’s team of Louise Hunt, Lauren Jones and Luz Esperanza Merry will begin the competition seeded seventh and play Thailand in their first group match on Tuesday. They will also face the home nation Japan in the group stages as they look to surpass their seeding and make the semi-finals.
The Junior team, seeded sixth, face a tough first tie against fourth seeds Belgium, however they will be full of confidence with team members Josh Cooper and Ruairi Logan picking up big wins against Belgium opposition in recent weeks. Ben Johnson-Rolfe completes the junior team line up as they face the Netherlands and Japan in their pool.