20th May, 2013
Nigeria’s wheelchair tennis team have Turkey as early as 4a.m today ahead of their participation at the 2013 BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Antalya, Turkey, which serves off today.
The duo of Alex Adewale and Jude Uwaize, in company of Coach Frank Tarmena, left for Turkey via Accra, Ghana last night because they failed to meet their original travel plans from Lagos on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the opening ceremony and draws for the tournament took place yesterday evening at Club Ali Bey Manavgat, Antalya, before play gets underway today with the first of the round-robin pools ties.
International Tennis Federation Wheelchair Tennis Manager Mark Bullock and Demirhan Serefhan, President of the host organisation, the Turkish Sports Federation for the Physically Disabled, welcomed the 52 teams from 28 countries before BNP Paribas World Team Cup Referee Anders Wennberg oversaw the draws.
Nigeria will play Spain in Group D. Other in group are Great Britain and Sweden. Australia are drawn alongside Croatia and Sri Lanka in Group A.
France embarks on title defence without Jeremiasz
Top seed Netherlands have been drawn in round-robin Group A, alongside Austria and South Africa, with South African making their debut in the Men’s World Group this year.
Defending champions, France will contest this week’s tournament without world No. 8 Michael Jeremiasz, who pulled out through injury. But France are still second seed and will face Poland and Thailand, the winners of Men’s World Group II in 2012, in Group B.
Third seed and two-time former champions Japan will play USA and Argentina in an intriguing set of match-ups in Group C, while fourth seed Great Britain will face Sweden, the winners of the Men’s World Group in Antalya in 2010, and Korea Republic in round-robin ties in Group D.
Two of the three nations that earned places in Men’s World Group II through regional qualifications earlier in the year all begin their challenges on Monday’s first day of play, as Greece face host nation Turkey in Group B before playing second seed Canada, the winners of the qualification event for the Americas, later in the week.
In their debut outing in the World Team Cup, Nigeria caused one of the biggest upsets in the last edition held in South Korea, beating Switzerland, one of the favourite teams, in their opening game.
A total of 52 teams from 28 countries are contesting in five events: Men’s World Group (12 nations), Men’s World Group 2 (12 nations), Women’s World Group (12 nations), Quad Event (8 teams) and Junior Event (8 teams).
The Netherlands are the defending the women’s and junior titles, while France are the defending men’s champions. Israel are the defending quad champions.