Photo: Mara Chaplin||
The Canadian quad team was competing at the World Team Cup (WTC) this week in Tel Aviv, Israel. Rob Shaw, Mitch McIntyre and Gary Luker were selected to represent Canada at the most important team event in wheelchair tennis.
In order to qualify for the tournament in 2020, they would have to finish in the Top 6 nations. They had a tough task ahead of them, as the squad was grouped in Pool 1, alongside South Africa, the no. 4 nation, and Great Britain, the no. 2 nation.
During the first day of action, the Canadians fell 3-0 to the powerhouse British team. Shaw, the highest ranked Canadian on the squad, came close to notching a point for Canada, but eventually fell at the hands of his opponent. Facing South Africa on day two, the team was playing for a spot in the semi-finals. They came close after Shaw won the second match to even the score, but they were unable to capture the victory in doubles.
Despite falling short of reaching the semi-finals, Canada was hopeful in their quest for direct entry for the 2020 event as they took on Brazil. Both Shaw and McIntyre won their matches, clinching the victory for Canada.
“I’m very happy with our performance this week. We battled hard during each match and the team can be very proud of their qualification for next year’s event,” stated team captain Christian Gingras. “Rob has been an outstanding leader for this group and won some big matches for us this week. Mitch notched his first singles win at the WTC and I am sure that it is the first of many. Gary’s effort was commendable, as he was coming back from a shoulder injury right before competition started. They all represented their country with honor and pride.”
The team finished the tournament in sixth place for a third consecutive year, allowing them the opportunity to compete once again next May.
*Photos: Mara Chaplin