France Defend World Team Cup

The French doubles combination (Photo: IPC)

France has claimed their eighth men’s wheelchair tennis World Team Cup title while Great Britain claimed the quad title as the tournament wrapped up on Sunday.

The men’s tournament came down to the top two seeds and was a thrilling tie as France managed a 2-1 win over Great Britain. Unlike the women’s final, the tie had to go down to the doubles match with France showing why they were favourites as they won the match.

A France v Britain final has been what the fans are used to seeing as the final of this tournament as they met for the second time in three years. Great Britain took the early advantage with Alfie Hewett managing a 6-3, 6-3 win over Nicolas Peifer.

That result put all the pressure on world number one Stephane Houdet as he took on the world number two Gordon Reid. Houdet was clinical as he kept France in the tie  with a 6-4, 6-3 win to send it to the doubles.

In the doubles, the four men, who have been long rivals fought hard but in the end it was France who got the win, defending their title. After breaking down the British resistance, France claimed the match 6-3, 6-0.

“The World Team Cup is about so much more than tennis,” said Houdet. “It means a lot because it’s not only the eighth, it was probably the toughest one to win having started the second singles 0-1 down and I played against Gordon, the Paralympic champion.”

It wasn’t all a bad day for Great Britain as they managed to claim the Quad championship, defeating surprise package Israel 2-1.

Israel continued to shock even in the final as they took the lead after winning the opening singles match. Noam Gershony was much too dominant for James Shaw as he managed an easy 6-2, 6-1 win to put Israel one win away from an incredible victory.

But Britain countered and forced the doubles match when Andy Lapthorne, world number three, managed to defeat Shraga Weinberg. Lapthorne won through in straight sets claiming it 6-3, 6-1 to set up a thrilling conclusion to the tournament.

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