Great Britain name 2021 BNP Paribas World Team Cup Squad
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The LTA has confirmed the squad of wheelchair tennis players to represent Great Britain at the 2021 BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Sardinia on 27 September to 3 October – the International Tennis Federation’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event and the wheelchair tennis equivalent of the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup.
The squad will represent Great Britain across all four events contested at the event, with the men’s, women’s, quad and junior team line-ups featuring an exciting mixture of experience and youth, as follows:
Men’s Event – Captained by Martyn Whait (LTA National Coach – Wheelchair Tennis)
- Gordon Reid (Glasgow)
- Dermot Bailey (Kettering, Northamptonshire)
- Ben Bartram (Norwich)
Women’s Event – Captained by Alex Cockram (LTA Physical Performance Manager – Wheelchair Tennis)
- Lucy Shuker (Wimborne, Dorset)
- Cornelia Oosthuizen (London)
- Abbie Breakwell (Sawley, Derbyshire)
Quad Event – Captained by Rob Cross (LTA Head Coach – Wheelchair Performance Pathway)
- Antony Cotterill (Holmfirth, Yorkshire)
- James Shaw (Ruddington, Nottinghamshire)
- Greg Slade (Dorking, Surrey)
Junior Event – Captained by Marc McCarroll (LTA Wheelchair National Age Group Programme Coach)
- Dahnon Ward (Kegworth, Leicestershire)
- Ruby Bishop (Norwich)
- Joshua Johns (Ilkeston, Derbyshire)
Team Leader: Cain Berry (LTA Performance Lead – Wheelchair Tennis)
Great Britain has a long history of success in the World Team Cup, with the men’s team travelling to Italy as defending champions having won the 2019 title. That gold medal added to a silver for the juniors, bronze for the women’s team and a fourth place for the quad team to make it Great Britain’s most successful event in the event’s 37 year history. Great Britain won the men’s competition for the first time in 2015 before then adding a bronze medal in 2016 and silver medals in 2017 and 2018. Great Britain’s quad team are also previous World Team Cup winners, and won the most recent of their five World Team Cup titles in 2017, the last time that the event was held in Sardinia.
Gordon Reid, who has three World Team Cup titles to his name as a junior and senior player, said:
“It’s 14 years since I won my first World Team Cup gold medal as part of a Great Britain junior team and for us to now be two-time men’s champions and multiple silver and bronze medallists is something I’m really proud of. On the back of the GB success in Tokyo and completing the calendar Grand Slam in doubles at the US Open I’m looking forward to getting our World Team Cup title defence underway.”
Alongside established senior players such a Reid and Lucy Shuker, several of Britain’s younger players are making World Team Cup debuts.
Eighteen-year-old Abbie Breakwell will make her Great Britain senior debut in the women’s team after being a member of the 2018 junior team. Breakwell, who missed the 2019 World Team Cup due to school exams, will line up alongside three-time Paralympic doubles medallist Shuker and former Invictus Games medallist Cornelia Oosthuizen, who were both members of Great Britain’s bronze medal-winning women’s team in 2019. Breakwell said:
“I’m delighted to be selected again to represent GB. It was so disappointing when last year’s World Team Cup was cancelled. For me, this is a very special one, being my debut in the women’s team, and it shows how far I’ve come and how much I have improved. It’s going to be a great experience to play against the best in the world. Since I first started playing Lucy (Shuker) is one of the people I’ve watched as I’ve grown up, so it’s going to great to play alongside her and gain from her experience. You can’t replace that feeling with anything when you first get your GB kit out.”
Meanwhile, 16-year-old Ben Bartram, who was part of the silver medal-winning junior team in 2019, will make his senior debut for the Great Britain men’s team in place of the injured Alfie Hewett. Nineteen-year-old Greg Slade, who was part of the same silver medal-winning junior team in two years ago, will make his senior debut for the Great Britain quad team.
Sixteen-year-old Joshua Johns, another player to have developed through the LTA’s Wheelchair National Age Group Programme, will make his World Team Cup debut in the junior event.
Speaking ahead of the event, the LTA’s Performance Support Lead and World Team Cup Team Lead Cain Berry, said:
“We’re pleased to announce the squad for this year’s World Team Cup, and we have a really exciting mixture of youth and experience from our performance pathway among the teams this year. Our track record in this competition speaks for itself, and we can’t wait to get out to Sardinia and hopefully continue that success.”
For daily news throughout the event, head to lta.org.uk or keep up to date with all the action on Twitter @the_LTA or @WChairTennisGB.