London, Dec 15, 2015: The ITF has announced details of the regional qualifying events for the 2016 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event. The main event will be hosted by the Japan Tennis Association (JTA) at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo on 23-28 May 2016.
This is the first time that the BNP Paribas World Team Cup will be staged in Japan, and only the second occasion that the event will be held in Asia following the 2012 edition in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
The BNP Paribas World Team Cup, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015, is the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis event, often referred to as the Davis and Fed Cups of wheelchair tennis. The initial event took place in California in 1985 involving six men’s teams. The women’s competition began the following year, with quad and junior events introduced in 1998 and 2000 respectively. Due to the increased number of teams wanting to take part, the ITF introduced regional qualifying for the men’s and women’s events in 2012.
Over 100 teams from around 50 countries will take part in the 2016 competition. Four regional qualifying events will determine the six men’s and four women’s teams to join the direct entries in the finals in Tokyo. In Tokyo, teams will contest the men’s World Group (12 nations), men’s World Group II (12 nations), women’s World Group (12 nations), quad event (8 teams) and junior event (8 teams).
The current list of dates and venues is as follows:
18-21 February: Africa Qualification – Nairobi Club, Nairobi, Kenya
27 February-1 March: Asian Qualification – Sri Lanka Tennis Association, Colombo, Sri Lanka
5-8 March: Americas Qualification – Cuenca Tennis and Golf Club, Cuenca, Ecuador
22-26 March: European Qualification – Kaya Belek Resort Hotel, Antalya, Turkey
23-28 May: Finals – Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan
The Ariake Colosseum will also be the venue for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Tennis Events. It regularly stages Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties, in addition to the Japan Open ATP event.
BNP Paribas has been the event’s title sponsor since 2012, and recently extended its sponsorship through 2021 as part of its overall agreement with the ITF.
ITF President David Haggerty said: “We are pleased to see the continued growth of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup, which is the most prestigious team competition on the ITF’s wheelchair tennis calendar. The ITF is delighted that the main event will be staged for the first time in Japan, a nation with a long tradition of wheelchair tennis and some of the sport’s most recognizable stars.” —- ITF