2019 World Team Cup Blog

May 13, 2019 09:00 AM

Beginning on Monday, May 13, 10 members of Team USA will compete at the 2019 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, the wheelchair tennis equivalent of the Fed Cup and Davis Cup. Each day, a different team member will blog about their experience competing at this marquee event.




Day 7 - Final Day of the Tournament

By Jason Keatseangsilp, Team USA Men's team member

On our last day of the World Team Cup tournament, our Men's team fell to Spain. Our singles matches were against very tough players and we didn’t end up playing out the dead rubber doubles. Meanwhile, the Women’s team ended 6th and the Quad team ended 5th.
This entire trip has been a unique experience. It was much more than simply playing tennis matches. Seeing so many different countries in one place at the same time, observing the different cultures, seeing various disabilities, and having a unified team atmosphere were amongst the highlights of this trip.
Overall, I am grateful for being able to represent my country for the first time, and I hope I will get another opportunity to do so again in Portugal next year.








Day 6 - Another Tough Match-Up for the Men, Victory for the Women

By Nick Taylor, Team USA Quad team member


IMG_7968Overall, the trip so far to Israel has been amazing. I have been fortunate to travel to many places around the world, but Israel was not a place I had been to before, so I was very excited coming on this trip. The country has not disappointed in anyway, the people are amazingly friendly and always want to help.  The food has been tremendous, I absolutely love hummus, and let me tell you, they know how to make hummus here. To top it all off it’s been sunny and warm every day, so certainly nothing to complain about from the weather.  As a member of the quad team, we finished up play for the week, yesterday. I will give a bit of a recap of our matches, but first let me give you a rundown of today’s action.

The day started off with the women playing their first match of the 5 through 8 play-off against Columbia. The ladies played extremely well, and swept Columbia 3-0!

After the ladies finished up, we had a bit of downtime before the men started against Belgium in their 5 through 8 play-off.  Unfortunately, the men lost 0-2, but they fought in both singles matches, and gained some valuable intel playing a very high caliber team.

On the first day of the Quad matches, we played perhaps our most pivotal match vs the home team, Israel.  They have always had a very strong quad team, and this year is no exception. With Paralympic gold medalist, and local hero, Noam Gershony playing the number two singles position, they are extremely difficult to beat.  We were fortunate to get the tie to a deciding doubles, and in that doubles we got it to a deciding 10 point match tiebreak, however we were a few points shy of the victory and ended up losing to Israel.

The next day we played Japan, who is an extremely strong team, and we ended up losing 0-3.

To finish out play for the week, we played Brazil yesterday. This match was very important for us, because if we won it, we were safe and had officially qualified for next year’s World Team Cup. We ended up sweeping Brazil 3-0 which was a very nice way to end the week.

To finish out the trip, tomorrow I will watch the men and women in their last matches. Then on Saturday, I am very excited for a team trip to Jerusalem to see many of the country’s historic sites.



IMG_7561Day 5 - Challenging Day for the Women, Day of Redemption for the Men & Quads

By Mackenzie Soldan, Team USA Women's Team member


It was another scorcher at World Team Cup here in Tel-Aviv. The sun seemed even closer than the day before, shining  its beams of light directly into my pores. It was the perfect day to battle against the number one seeds, the Netherlands.  3 out of their 4 women’s team members are in the top 5 in the world. We knew it would be a tough one. Shelby led the charge against Aniek, with a solid start. Eventually the world number 3 got the best of the match and took the number 2 singles match for the Dutch.

Next up was Dana, taking on world number one 1 Diede de Groot. Dana came out very strong and took a 5-4 lead in the first. After some tense points and a few great shots from Diede, she took the first set 7-5. The second set proved to be another battle but the Dutch came out on top again winning 6-3 in the final set. The ladies then followed up with a tough doubles loss 1, 2 against the number one doubles team in the world. Overall, the tennis was excellent and the  team is looking forward to the next match.

The Men’s and Quad teams came out victorious today with the Men's tie coming down to doubles. The men took out Poland, and the quads defeated Brazil. Great tennis all around






IMG_5840Day 4 - Tough Day at the Office

By Team USA Quad's Coach, John DeVorss


Day 2 of competition at the World Team Cup started with another beautiful sunny day. USA had only two of our three teams in action today. Both the Men’s team and the Quad team looking to rebound from some close losses yesterday.  

The Men’s team went to battle today against the defending World Team Cup champions from Japan. Connor Stroud played hard and came up short in the first singles match of the day for the Men against Japan’s number 2 player 6-1,  6-1. It was Connor’s first time ever playing a current top ten ranked player in the Men’s game. Casey Ratzlaff squared off against the reigning number 1 player in the world Shingo Kunieda. While it was a great learning experience for Casey, it was a tough match for Team USA. Casey lost 6-0, 6-0. In the doubles, Japan was able to defeat Team USA’s Chris Herman and Jason Keatseangsilp 6-1, 6-2. 

Team USA’s quad team tried to rebound from a difficult loss to home team Israel the day before by also taking on  Japan’s quad team. The first match pitted Nick Taylor against Japan’s number 2 player. It was a difficult match up unfortunately for Nick. He tried everything he could but was unable to secure a victory for Team USA.  Japan’s Moroishi defeated Nick 6-1, 6-1. In the number 1 singles position, Bryan Barten of the USA took on Japan’s number 1 player and battled hard but lost 6-0, 6-3. In the last match of the day for Team USA, Japan’s doubles team was able to squeak out a closely contested match 6-3, 6-4. 

Overall, it was a tough day for Team USA here in Israel. But we are keeping our heads up and not giving up. We are looking forward to tomorrow’s matches against Poland for the Men, Brazil for the Quads and the Netherlands for the Women.



Day 3 - First Day of Competition

IMG_4488By Team USA Women's Team member, Shelby Baron


World Team Cup has officially kicked off with Team USA completing their first rounds of pool play. The Publica Isrotel provides a beautiful breakfast spread with many choices to fit the needs and interests of all of our players. We filled up  on delicious pastries, savory omelets, and necessary cappuccinos to prepare for the day of competition ahead.

Temperatures in the mid-eighties and gusty winds proved to be a point of importance for the teams this morning. Pair them with the nerves of the first day of competition, and we had an interesting mix of adversity to overcome.

The women’s team faced off against Switzerland in the first round. We came into the tournament as the higher ranked team, so we felt confident in our chances today as long as we stuck to our game plans. Team USA swept the tie 3-0, dropping only 7 games in three matches.

On court next to us, the men fought hard against Austria. After splitting their singles matches, it all came down to the doubles. Casey and Conner fought back from a deficit to force a match tiebreak. However, the Austrians pulled through  to claim the W. The men face off against the number 1 seed Japan tomorrow.

The quad team faced the biggest challenge of us all: playing the Israeli team on home turf. The host country did not disappoint and filled the stands of center court. Greg lost his singles match against a Paralympic gold medalist and  Israeli hero. Nick turned the tables and fought to tie the score up 1-1. Again, we cheered on our doubles team into a deciding 10-point tiebreak. Unfortunately, the crowds were loud and seemed to decide the fate of the match. Bryan and Nick lost in a heartbreaker. With one loss in their pool, they will still have a chance to play for the medal.

The women have a day off tomorrow and we will fight the number 1 seed the Netherlands on Wednesday. Thank you for your support and Go Team USA!



IMG_3478Day 2 – Practice Day, Opening Ceremonies and Official Draw

By Team USA Men's Team member, Jason Keatseagnsilp


It has been a pretty packed second day in Tel-Aviv. Today marked the last day of training, as the tournament starts tomorrow.

It was looking to be a fairly relaxed day as we got to wake up fairly late. Also, we passed the time before warming up by playing a pretty entertaining group card game with the women's team. But once we hit the court, the action never stopped.

We had about a 15-to-20-minute break after our warmup before attending a Paralympic meeting. Then we had a few minutes to gather for the opening ceremony. After, we headed straight for the draw ceremony dinner and now I'm back typing this blog back at the hotel. It’s like we barely had time to catch our breath today!

I am so exhausted, but I am looking forward to tomorrow. We drew Japan, Austria and Poland in our pool, and we open against Austria tomorrow. It will be a good tie. I am trying to absorb everything as this is my first WTC experience, but it's all been happening so fast. More to come!






Day 1 - Team Practice

By Amy Barnhart, Digital Marketing & Communications Lead, USTA Player Development


IMG_1838Tel-Aviv, Israel provides the backdrop for this year’s BNP Paribas World Team Cup, the 35th year of the international competition. Ten of Team USA’s top wheelchair tennis players from around the country and the three National Coaches arrived last night. With little sleep, the team met for an extensive spread of a Mediterranean breakfast buffet before gathering for the first team meeting of the trip. Team Captain, Jason Harnett, kicked off the meeting with introductions  and logistics for the next week.

This year’s team consists of players for three teams: a Men’s Team, a Women’s Team and a Quads Team. 24-year-old Jason Keatseangsilp joins the Men’s team for his inaugural World Team Cup competition, while the remainder of the Team USA members has at least six years of prior experience competing in the tournament. 

With two days to prepare for its run in the tournament, the team packed up its gear and threw around the football while waiting for the shuttle over to the tournament site, the Israel Tennis Center – Ramat Hasharon. Players and coaches connected with fellow US colleagues as well as counterparts of the other 23 competing countries over lunch.

Fueled up and ready to hit the court, the teams all took their respective practice courts to hone their weapons for the next week of competition. Before hitting any balls, the teams each did their own pre-practice warm ups; some doing resistance band shoulder stretches and some throwing a mini soccer ball for a game of mini tennis to loosen up their bodies before grabbing their racquets and getting to work.

Following practice, the team travelled back to the tournament hotel to rest and recover before a team dinner at a local restaurant on the marina. The team wheeled and walked back to the hotel to catch up on sleep before their final day of practice leading into the first day of competition. Tomorrow also brings Team Registration, a Paralympic Presentation, the captains’ meeting, the Opening Ceremony, the official draw and opening dinner.

Overall, the first day was filled with great energy and momentum leading into this year’s tournament.