By Kate Stuteville, special to USTA.com
From the 2011 World Team Cup in Tshwane, South Africa, Team USA's Kate Stuteville is not only competing in juniors but also writing a blog for USTA.com. Hear from Kate throughout the tournament as she provides insights and observations from the very first World Team Cup to originate from the African continent.
Today was quite possibly the best way to start off a world team cup tournament! The weather was sunny but still cool enough to enjoy and all of the teams came out proudly showing off their countries colors, ready to play.
Being that this is my first world cup tournament, I am still in awe of all of the teams here. At any given moment, I can turn around and see people representing ten different countries and hear many different languages - along with the thrill of seeing so many people and teams comes the success of the USA team.
The first round of the juniors matches were all against South Africa. Ryan and Shelby both battled hard in there first singles matches and later they came together to pull out an amazing win for USA in their doubles game. The women’s team and the quad’s team also won in there first round, bringing an amazing energy to the USA team.
You could feel the spirit of competition everywhere through the sights and sounds of all the teams. It felt so great to be able to wheel around among the many countries and know that you were representing the USA. With all the fierce competition came an off the court friendliness, its something I never expected. It was really exciting getting to see many different countries embracing one another, watching them come up to one another and talk as if they were family. I am still in complete awe to be a part of this great experience, and to be meeting the greatest players from all over the world. My already huge patriotism for the USA is now overflowing and I can’t wait to cheer on the team more as we head further into the competition.
Our team has been playing great - and whether it be on the court or on the sidelines, everyone has been joining together to do what they can to give all of those other teams a run for their money. The experience here has already amazed and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week holds! Good luck USA!!
Other blogs from the 2011 World Team Cup: