Deaf World Team Tennis - USA Women Take Silver Medal

USA Men Finish 5th

Saturday, July 19, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

In a three-set doubles match to determine deaf world team tennis supremacy, Chinese Taipei rallied to defeat USA, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, for a 2-1 team victory today for the gold medal in the Deaf World Team Tennis Championship finals at the John Strang-Eric Voges Tennis Center at McCallie.

Playing for the Maere Cup, the two countries had split singles prior to the doubles match as Lin Chia-Wen defeated Laura Chapman (Columbus, Ga.) at No.2 singles, while Signal Mountain's Emily Hangstefer defeated Ho Chin-Mei at No.1 singles.

"It's disappointing not to win the team gold, but Laura and I plan to participate in the Deaf World singles and doubles championships next summer," said Hangstefer who teamed with Chapman to defeat Chinese Taipei for the Deaflympics doubles gold medal last summer..

Second Set: After losing the opening set, the victors broke the Americans three times in the second set. Game six with Chinese Taipei serving was a possible turning point in the set. The Americans trailed 4-1, bur had two break points. The Chinese won five of the last six points in the game to take a 5-1 lead and eventually won 6-3.

Third Set: The two teams exchanged service breaks to open the set and then held serve the next four games for a 3-3 score.

In the crucial seventh game with the Chinese serving, the Americans had a game point at 30-40, but did not capitalize and eventually lost the game and their serve in game eight to trail 5-3.

In the last game, the Americans fought off two match points  before the victors won the final two points and the title.

Team Records: The USA team was 4-1 in the championship with wins against Great Britain, Germany and Russia in pool play and Spain in the semis.

Chinese Taipei (5-0) defeated India, Japan and Spain in pool play, followed by a semifinal triumph against Great Britain in the semis and the U.S. squad in the finals.

Women's Final -  Maere Cup -  Chinese Taipei 2, USA 1

Men's Final - Dresse Cup

France defeated Germany, 2-1, for its first Deaf World Team Tennis title.

The winners arrived in Chattanooga Tues. July 8 to adapt to the humidity and time change. According to team host Darrell McDonald, the French players practiced six hours a day for five days leading up the opening match this past Monday.

"The French players did what it took to win as they practiced six hours a day before the tournament and were careful what they ate and it all paid off," said McDonald who made sure the players had transportation to and from the hotel and the tennis matches.

Last Piece of the Puzzle: Mikael Laurent of France had never won a world team gold medal until today .... he has European Championship singles and doubles gold medals and Olympic (Deaflympics) singles and doubles gold medals and now the team gold.

USA Men Take Fifth: led by Daniel Hangstefer of Signal Mtn, the USA squad defeated Great Britain today in the fifth place match.

Final Standings:

Women's Maere Cup

1. Chinese Taipei 2. USA 3. Spain 4. Great Britain 5. Germany 6. Russia 7. Japan 8. India

Men's Dresse Cup

1. France 2. Germany 3. Austria 4. Russia 5. USA 5. Great Britain 7. Chinese Taipei 8. Japan 9. Argentina

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