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U.S. quad team wins World Cup crown

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The U.S. quad wheelchair tennis team of Nick Taylor, 31, of Wichita, Kan., David Wagner, 37, of Hillsboro, Ore., and Bryan Barten, 37, of Tucson, Ariz., led the U.S. to the 2011 World Team Cup title, defeating Israel 2-1 in the final. The U.S. quad team defeated Israel in the World Team Cup final for the second consecutive year. It was also the team’s seventh World Team Cup crown. The nation’s top wheelchair tennis players competed against participants from around the globe, April 25-May 1, on the hard courts of the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa.

In the opening rubber, Israeli No. 2 Noam Gershony upset world No. 4 Taylor 6-3, 6-2, to give Israel the early lead. The U.S. then leveled the match when world No. 1 Wagner needed just 63 minutes to beat Shraga Weinberg 6-3, 6-3. In the deciding doubles rubber, Wagner and Taylor, who are Paralympic gold medal winners, defeated Gershony and Boaz Kramer 6-2, 6-0, to capture the title for the U.S.

“We are ecstatic over our victory,” said Taylor. “This is the biggest event of the year for me personally and being part of the winning team is a real honor.”

The U.S. women’s team, led by Emmy Kaiser, 19, of Fort Mitchell, Ky., Dana Mathewson, 19, of San Diego and Kaitlyn Verfuerth, 25, of Tucson, Ariz., finished in eighth place in the women’s division. In World Group 2 play, the U.S. men’s team defeated Thailand, 2-0, in a Promotion/Relegation match that put the U.S. into World Group 1 next year. The men’s team consisted of Paul Moran, 44, of Northfield, Ill., Jon Rydberg, 33, of Oakdale, Minn., and Stephen Welch, 38, of Southlake, Texas. The U.S. Junior Team, led by Shelby Baron, 16, of Honolulu, Ryan Nelson, 16, of Sandy, Utah, and Katherine Stuteville, 17, of Colleyville, Texas, finished fifth in the junior division.

Often referred to as the wheelchair tennis equivalent of pro tennis’ Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions, the World Team Cup tournament brings the world’s best wheelchair tennis players together to compete for national pride in one of the world’s premier tennis team events. More than 200 players from more than 30 nations participated in the 2011 event in South Africa.

The USTA was officially designated by the USOC as the national governing body for the Paralympic sport of wheelchair tennis in June 2002, becoming the first Olympic national governing body to earn this recognition. As the national governing body for wheelchair tennis, the USTA manages wheelchair tennis in the United States, including the sanctioning of tournaments, overseeing wheelchair rankings, creating and managing a High Performance program for developing elite disabled athletes, and selecting teams to compete internationally for the United States.

 

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