The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that the 2016 edition of its World Team Cup showpiece wheelchair tennis event will take place in the Japanese capital of Tokyo.
The tournament will run from May 23-28 next year at the Ariake Colosseum, the venue that is also due to stage tennis events during the city’s hosting of the 2020 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. The facility also regularly stages other major tennis events such as the Davis Cup and Fed Cup, as well as the Japan Open ATP men’s tournament.
The event will mark only the second time that the World Team Cup will be held in Asia since the tournament launched in 1985. Korea is the only other nation in the continent to have hosted the event, with the 2012 World Team Cup having taken place in the city of Seoul.
Japan has a long association with wheelchair tennis, having first introduced a programme for the sport back in 1984. The Japanese Tennis Association (JTA) national governing body has also helped produce a number of leading players, including current ITF wheelchair world champions Shingo Kunieda (right of picture) and Yui Kamiji (left of picture).
“Japan has a long tradition of wheelchair tennis and has produced some of the sport’s most recognisable stars,” ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said. “The World Team Cup is the most prestigious team competition on the ITF’s wheelchair tennis calendar, and we are pleased to see its continued growth.”
Nao Kawatei, chairman of the JTA International Committee, added: “The JTA works closely with the Japan Wheelchair Tennis Association and our Japanese players, and we are very proud to see their successful results. Japan is a long-time supporter of ITF wheelchair tennis, and the World Team Cup will provide a chance to showcase the players’ talents before the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.”