Feb. 12, 2013 — Tennis Grandstand has partnered up with this week’s SAP Open and it is our pleasure to offer you the chance to win 2 tickets to an additional evening of live tennis, featuring an exhibition match on Saturday, Feb. 16th at 7pm at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.
The match will feature a newly-retired Andy Roddick partnering up with Stefanie Graf to take on the team of Lindsay Davenport and Justin Gimelstob.
In order to enter to win 2 tickets to Saturday evening’s exhibition match, please state in the comments below:
- Who your favorite player of the above four is (Roddick, Graf, Davenport, Gimelstob), and
- State why they are your favorite, ie a memory, how they inspired you, etc.
Contest closes Thursday, Feb. 14, 2012 at 8pm EST. Winner will be chosen at random from all entrees.
(Please note that you must be able to attend the live match; tickets will be able available for pickup at will call.)
The winner of the tickets would receive access to the exclusive SAP Ace Club hospitality area located within the pavilion and seats located in the baseline lower bowl area, a short walk from the Club.
In its last year in San Jose, the SAP Open has prepared a unique experience to help fans enjoy the excitement of the second-oldest men’s professional tournament in the United States. The event has been won by virtually every tennis superstar, including Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and SAP Ambassadors Andy Roddick and Milos Raonic.
Good luck and we look forward to seeing you at the SAP Open all week which takes place Feb. 11-17!
Dec 12, 2012 — One of tennis’ most respected doubles players in history and former world No. 1, Mark Knowles brought professional tennis back to his home country of the Bahamas for one incredible tennis invitational, that included a Pro-Am and exhibition. (Gallery and video at bottom)
The recently retired 41-year-old welcomed Lindsay Davenport, Sam Querrey and Sabine Lisicki among others to the Atlantis, Paradise Island to help raise money for local children’s charities at the Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational (MKCTI). The proceeds brought in this year topped $100,000, bringing total contributions to around $900,000.
“It was another great year at the 12th MKCTI. We raised a lot of money and had great support from our sponsorships,” said Knowles. “We had fantastic players down here, so it’s always special. The impetus behind the event is to raise money for those that are in need, and we were very successful doing that again this year.”
The main beneficiaries include the Sassoon Heart Foundation (Pediatric), the Cancer Society For Pediatric Care, the Association for the Physically Disabled, the Special Olympics, Mark Knowles Tennis scholarships for promising junior tennis players and numerous additional children’s charities.
“It’s always great to come here,” said Sabine Lisicki, who looked particularly radiant and enjoyed playing doubles with her Pro-Am partner. “I’ve known Mark for quite a few years and it’s been a lot of fun to play. The fact that it helps kids makes me always want to come here to help. It’s a nice place.”
After enjoying a cocktail reception sponsored by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Atlantis at Fathoms on Dec. 6, diamond and platinum sponsors had the opportunity to team up with the stars in the popular Pro-Am the following day.
Each team was guaranteed two matches in the fun, but competitive tournament with bragging rights on the line. Knowles and Miles Nadal, CEO of MDC Partners, defeated Lisicki and her partner David Demuth for the title, while Brent Haygarth teamed up with Betsy Wannakuwatte to win the consolation bracket over Querrey and Jeremy Stuby.
“The Pro-Am was great,” Querrey said. “This is my first time down here and we had a good time. It’s something I really enjoyed and I’m hoping to come back again next year.”
The players, event organizers and sponsors reunited in the evening for a special dinner at the Ripples Deck, featuring a gourmet buffet and live and silent auctions. The items on offer included signed racquets from Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, a dual photograph signed by Roger Federer and Jack Nicklaus and the dress Serena Williams wore when she won this year’s US Open final. The highest-selling item was a US Open poster signed by number of top players, which sold for $6,000.
The invitational was anchored by the tennis exhibition on Saturday, Dec. 8, where the players were split into two teams. Fans were treated to three sets of tennis, using the World TeamTennis format. Play opened with a mixed doubles match between Lisicki and Knowles against Davenport and former doubles world No. 1 Donald Johnson and was followed by a men’s singles encounter featuring Querrey versus Xavier Malisse. In the final match-up, Knowles and Malisse joined forces to take on Querrey and Alex Kuznetsov.
Afterwards, Knowles spoke to the crowd, where he thanked host Atlantis for their hospitality, the sponsors, players and fans for their support and recognized Sir Durward Knowles, the 1964 Olympic gold medalist in sailing. Fans were then treated to a meet and greet with the players.
“Being on the west coast, we don’t usually come this far east to vacation, so it’s great,” said Davenport. “I came here in 1999 and this is my next time here, so it’s fun to be able to share it with my family now. Mark has become a good friend over the years, along with [wife] Dawn and their kids. I’m thrilled we were able to come this year.”
The Mark Knowles Management Group would like to thank all involved in making this event an annual success and gives its appreciation to players, sponsors, charities, friends and family, fans, and followers who have supported Knowles’ charitable endeavors since its inception in 2001.
The 2012 Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational Player Field: Lindsay Davenport, Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Brent Haygarth, Donald Johnson, Craig Kardon (Coach to the Stars), Mark Knowles, Alex Kuznetsov, Sabine Lisicki, Xavier Malisse, Asia Muhammad, Yasmin Schnack, Tara Snyder Haygarth and Jesse Witten.
The 2012 Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational Sponsors: Atlantis, the Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism, MDC Partners, Pictet, Fast Ferries, American Airlines, Ultimate Limo Service, Odyssey Aviation, Ministry of Youth Sports & Culture, H.G.Christie, Everkey Global, The Balmoral, Caribbean Bottling, Kerrygold, Corner Bank, Schooner Bay, S.G.Hambros, Daron & Sheri Roberts, Vince Menard, Alex Pier, Sean & Sarah Farrington, Peter & Pippa Vlasov, Mark & Nancy Holowesko, Chris Day, Sir Durward Knowles, R.E. Barnes, Donald Tomlinson, Graham & Aidie Garner, Dave & Fran Donald, Steve Swords and Peter & Vicky Knowles Andrews.
(Parts taken from press release; Photos copyright Matt Fitzgerald/MKCTI)
Coco Vandeweghe on her pre-match rituals, her U.S. Open debut, and wanting to party with Novak Djokovic
WASHINGTON, D.C. — American Coco Vandeweghe, who shot up 50 spots in the the WTA Tour rankings after reaching the Stanford final three weeks ago, is in action this week at the Citi Open. After receiving the tournament’s last wildcard and her highest career seeding, Vandeweghe finds herself in the quarterfinals with fellow American Vania King as her next opponent.
I had a chance to chat with the rising star and she cheerfully reminisced about her greatest on-court moment, admitted she would want to party with Novak Djokovic, and disclosed some funny pre-match rituals she has.
What is your most memorable moment in your career?
Playing on opening night in Arthur Ashe stadium against Jelena Jankovic when she was no. 1 in the world, and I was 16 years old.
What would you do if you weren’t a tennis player?
I would be in college – playing basketball, probably.
If you could play against any player in history, who would it be and why?
I’d want to play against a couple: Chris Evert, Lindsay Davenport, and Martina Navratilova because they’re all great players. I’ve looked up to Lindsay for a long time and she’s been a great friend, and so has Chris Evert.
If you were hosting a party, what three tennis players would you invite and why?
I would invite my coach who is an ex-tennis play, Jan-Michael Gambill, Irina Falconi who is a great friend of mine on the WTA Tour, and Novak Djokovic because he’s seems like a lot of fun. [Laughs]
What are two things you couldn’t live without?
Music and probably my family.
What do you to get ready in the day before a match?
I enjoy my sleep. [Smiles] And then I have my own little rituals and different tedious things that I do, like tying my left shoe before my right shoe.
If you could invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?
I would invite my grandmother who died two years ago – pretty much just family members, my grandfather, my mom, my family.
No famous people?
No, probably not. [Laughs]
If you were given a camera crew and unlimited access to the WTA Tour, what would you want to show the public about pro tennis?
Just how fun the women’s tour is. We have great personalities, but we do dumb stuff sometimes. Even myself – dumb little fights like with the airline attendant, and me trying to sneak my tennis bag onto the airplane without trying to check it because it’s a pain in the butt! There’s a lot of fun stuff on Tour, and I would want to capture that.
I have something special for this post. It’s a photosession that I have long had in my possession but I have never uploaded or written anything about it. Yes, shame on me. The special photoseries was shot by Ralf Reinecke. The brilliant photographer asked Viktoriya Kutuzova to be her model and a model she is.
Here is some Wikipedia info on the Ukrainian bombshell.
Viktoriya Kutuzova (Ukrainian: Вікторія Кутузова, born August 19, 1988 in Odessa, Ukraine) is a female tennis player from Ukraine.
On November 28, 2005, Kutuzova reached her highest singles ranking, World No. 76.
Kutuzova remains most notable for her results as a 14 year old. In her debut WTA maindraw event, the Tier II event in Los Angeles 2003, Kutuzova beat top 50 player, Lina Krasnoroutskaya, in the 1st round, and top 30 player, Alexandra Stevenson in her next match, before losing in the 3rd round to the then world number 12, Ai Sugiyama.
Other career highlights in WTA main draw events include, a 4th round appearance at the Tier I event in Indian Wells 2005, eventually losing to then number 1, Lindsay Davenport. Kutuzova has also made the 2nd round at three of the four grand slam events on the WTA tour.
As a junior Kutuzova reached the final of the Australian Open in 2003 losing to Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová.
Kutuzova has experienced considerable success at an ITF level. Kutuzova has won four French ITF events. In 2008, Kutuzova won her biggest ITF title to date in Cagnes-Sur-Mer. Her other titles have come in Poitiers(2005) and Deauville(2005/6). In 2009, she reached the final of the $100.000 ITF event in Torhout, losing to Croatia’s Karolina Šprem in straight-sets.
Viktoriya has suffered some shoulder problems throughout her young career which have stalled her progression on the main WTA tour.
If you were a tennis fan in the late 90s then you surely must have heard of Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis. Those two were my favorite players back then. Anna , who is underrated by most tennis fans, never won a singles title but did win two Grandslam Doubles titles. Martina Hingis has won many titles including three Grandslam titles (the US Open 1x, Wimbledon 1x, Australian Open 3x) and nine Grandslam Doubles titles. And she was the number one of the world for 209 consective weeks.
So when I read that the two of them were returning to play the WTT tournaments this summer I was more than happy. Why? Because it meant I’d get to see photos of them playing. Things were even better when they entered the Wimbledon Legends doubles tournament. It was the return of the Spice Girls all over.
Fans and pundits from all over the world were elated to see Hingis and Kournikova team up again for doubles and play singles. Ofcourse this also ignited rumors that Hingis may make a return to the WTA Tour. She told the press that she may play a few doubles games with Lindsay Davenport. But we haven’t heard much of that ever since. As a fan I keep hoping that Hingis will return for at least more doubles tournaments.
I even dug up some videos of the two of them interviewed by Harry Cicma for World Tennis Magazine.
Enjoy the photos and videos. The photos are Anna Kournikova at the St. Louis Aces Vs Newport Beach Breakers match and Martina Hingis at the World Team Tennis tournament at Villanova University. Check the guy Martina Hingis is talking to. Rumor has it that he is her new beau.
I have also added extra bonus pics of Anna Kournikova At The Laureus Charity Gala At The MBB In Stuttgart.
By Maud Watson
Blast from the Past – My biggest praise this week goes to Australian Lleyton Hewitt. Not only did he defeat six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in the final of Halle, but he did so after having undergone two hip surgeries. The match had more than shades of the old Hewitt who was at the top of the game nearly ten years ago, with the Aussie chasing down everything that Federer threw at him. While it has to be said that Federer’s game did go off, there’s no doubt Hewitt played a large part in making it so. Down a set and 0-40 at four-all in the second, Hewitt refused to succumb. Federer clearly became a bit rattled and began to press, ultimately resulting in Hewitt snapping his 15-match losing streak against the Swiss. Wimbledon is a different prospect with the matches all being best of five, but given his status as a former Wimbledon champ and his current run of form, Hewitt’s suddenly looking like a decent pick to go deep at SW19.
Back on Track – After the dismal circumstances under which Sam Querrey made his exit at Roland Garros, it was nice to see him quickly back on the horse and in the winner’s circle this past weekend at the Queen’s Club. Querrey held his nerve to take a tight two-set victory over compatriot Mardy Fish, whom it also has to be said put together one of the nicer weeks of tennis he’s had in awhile. And as a sidebar to Querrey’s win and Hewitt’s, I think it’s safe to say that while it’s tough to bet against the big boys at the majors, this Wimbledon feels a little more wide open than it has in recent memory.
Undecided – Well, the Swiss Miss may not be done after all. No, Martina Hingis isn’t contemplating making yet another comeback to the singles game, but she is seriously considering the possibility of coming back to play doubles on the WTA Tour, naming American Lindsay Davenport as her current choice of partner. Hingis has already committed to playing 14 matches in World Team Tennis for the New York Buzz this summer, and given her level of talent, it’s hard to imagine it will take her long to shake the dust off her game. She’ll also be teaming with former partner Anna Kournikova to play the Legends Doubles event at Wimbledon, and I’m sure many are hoping that a potential return of Hingis to WTA Tour doubles will entice Kournikova to eventually follow suit.
Salt to the Wound – Brit Alex Bogdanovic has made no secret of the fact that he wasn’t thrilled when he learned he wouldn’t be receiving one of the Wimbledon main draw wildcards despite the fact that he meets the ranking criteria. But he didn’t give up hope at having another shot at winning a main draw match and opted to take his chances in the qualies. It was there in the second round that he came up short against talented Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, losing by a heartbreaking 24-22 in the third. I’m not a huge Bogdanovic fan, and I perfectly understand the logic behind not granting him a wildcard. But at 24-22 in the third, you gotta feel a little sympathy for the guy.
More Returns – This week has marked the return of a couple more players to the main tour just in time for the Big W. Eastbourne has seen Belgian Kim Clijsters bounce back nicely from the foot injury that kept her out of Roland Garros, as well as Frenchman Gilles Simon, whose absence from the 2010 season has been long and frustrating. While it’s a big ask for either to set high expectations for Wimbledon (Simon much more so than Clijsters), it’s great to see them notching some wins under their belt and gaining some momentum as they’re shortly to head into the heart of the summer season. And in case anyone missed it, former No. 1 and French Open champion Thomas Muster will be making a return to the Challenger Circuit at the age of 42. I’m not quite sure what the thought process was behind this return other than for love of the game, but to each their own. Maybe he was inspired by Kimiko Date Krumm.
We managed to obtain a few snapshots of Martina Hingis training with French talent Camille Pin at Roland Garros. This is a pleasant surprise. Hingis recently announced that she and Anna Kournikova are going to play at the Wimbledon Legends tournament. The return of the Spice Girls will surely generate a lot of publicity.
Hingis will also participate in doubles with Lindsay Davenport on the WTA Tour. The veterans have yet to announce their schedule however.
More Hingis news. Hingis will also play the World Team Tennis tour this July and a few exhibitions such as Nottingham.
It’s nice to see Hingis back in tennis. I won’t lie, I have always been a huge fan of her style of play and I hope that she will grace the courts for a little while longer than she did back in 2007.
Enjoy the photos!
People Magazine is reporting that tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with breast cancer, but her prognosis is said to be excellent.
The story: linked here: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20358261,00.html reports that the nine-time Wimbledon champion cried when she was diagnosed last February. Navratilova recently competed in the Hit for Haiti fundraiser in Indian Wells, Calif., last month along with Lindsay Davenport and Justine Henin.
The People.com report says Navratilova had a lumpectomy and will begin six weeks of radiation therapy next month. It added that the nine-time Wimbledon women’s singles champion was diagnosed with a noninvasive form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS.
NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 16, 2010) – The defending World TeamTennis Champion Washington Kastles selected American Bobby Reynolds with the top overall selection in the 2010 WTT Roster Player Draft held today from WTT headquarters in New York City. Players from 16 countries were selected in Tuesday’s Roster Draft as teams completed their lineups for the League’s 35th season beginning July 5.
Last month, teams selected an all-star lineup of marquee players including Martina Hingis (New York Buzz), Andy Roddick (Philadelphia Freedoms), Venus Williams (Washington Kastles), Serena Williams (Washington Kastles), James Blake (Boston Lobsters), Anna Kournikova (St. Louis Aces), Lindsay Davenport (St. Louis Aces), Maria Sharapova (Newport Beach Breakers), John McEnroe (New York Sportimes) and Kim Clijsters (New York Sportimes).
Reynolds, who was ranked as high as No. 63 in singles and No. 46 in doubles in 2009, is making a comeback after returning from a left wrist injury that sidelined him for the final three months of the ATP Tour season. Reynolds joins a Kastles squad that includes Venus Williams, Serena Williams, former WTT Female MVPs Angela Haynes and Rennae Stubbs, along with 2009 Male MVP Leander Paes.
American Scoville Jenkins joins Martina Hingis on the New York Buzz lineup. Hingis, who will play the entire season for the Albany-based Buzz, is also joined by Sarah Borwell of Great Britain and rising US amateur Alex Domijan who played for the Buzz in 2009.
Jarmila Gadjosova Groth, the 2007 WTT Female Rookie of the Year, returns to Kansas City for her second WTT season. The Explorers picked up Groth in the first round and added her husband Sam Groth with their fourth round selection.
The Sacramento Capitals picked up the 2009 Female MVP Vania King in a deal that sent their first-round draft pick Carly Gullickson to the Springfield Lasers. This will be the second WTT season for Gullickson, who won the 2009 US Open Mixed Doubles Championship.
In other first round action, the Boston Lobsters protected fan favorite Jan-Michael Gambill while the New York Sportimes kept their rights to Robert Kendrick.
The World TeamTennis Pro League, which celebrates its 35th season this July, includes teams in 10 markets throughout the U.S. Each team will play a total of 14 matches during the three-week regular season, July 5-22. The top two teams from both the Western and Eastern Conferences advance to the WTT Conference Championships on July 23 with the winners playing for the WTT Championship on July 25. Teams in the Western Conference are the Kansas City Explorers, Newport Beach Breakers, Sacramento Capitals, St. Louis Aces and Springfield Lasers. Teams in the Eastern Conference are the Boston Lobsters, New York Buzz, New York Sportimes, Philadelphia Freedoms and Washington Kastles.
The WTT Pro League was co-founded by Billie Jean King in the early 1970s. Each team has a coach, two male and two female players who play singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches.
For details on the complete draft results and the 2010 schedule, visit www.WTT.com.
WTT ROSTER DRAFT – March 16, 2010 – NEW YORK, N.Y.
- # WASHINGTON KASTLES: Bobby Reynolds
- NEW YORK BUZZ: Scoville Jenkins
- ST. LOUIS ACES: Andrei Pavel
- KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Jarmila Groth
- % SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Carly Gullickson
- BOSTON LOBSTERS: Jan-Michael Gambill (protection)
- ^ KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Ricardo Mello
- NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Robert Kendrick (protection)
- % SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Vania King (protection)
- WASHINGTON KASTLES: Leander Paes (protection)
- * PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Ramon Delgado
- NEW YORK BUZZ: Sarah Borwell
- ST. LOUIS ACES: Liga Dekmeijere (protection)
- KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Kveta Peschke (protection)
- SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Dusan Vemic
- BOSTON LOBSTERS: Eric Butorac
- NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Julie Ditty (protection)
- NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Jesse Witten (protection)
- SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Martin Damm (protection)
- WASHINGTON KASTLES: Rennae Stubbs (protection)
PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Noppawan Lertcheewakarn
NEW YORK BUZZ: Alex Domijan
ST. LOUIS ACES: Tripp Phillips (protection)
^ NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Lester Cook
% SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Rik de Voest
BOSTON LOBSTERS: Coco Vandeweghe
NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: David Martin
NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Abigail Spears (protection)
SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Chani Scheepers (protection)
# PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Prakash Amritraj
PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Courtney Nagle
@ SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Riza Zalameda
ST. LOUIS ACES: PASS
KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Sam Groth
SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Brett Joelson
BOSTON LOBSTERS: Raquel Kops-Jones (protection)
NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Marie-Eve Pelletier
NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Ashley Harkleroad (protection)
% SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: PASS
~ WASHINGTON KASTLES: Angela Haynes (protection)
# Philadelphia Freedoms traded their first round draft pick to the Washington Kastles for the Kastles’ third round draft pick and financial consideration.
% Sacramento Capitals traded Carly Gullickson and 3rd round draft pick position to the Springfield Lasers for Vania King and the Lasers’ 4th round draft pick position.
^ The Newport Beach Breakers traded their first round draft pick to the Kansas City Explorers for the Explorers’ third round draft pick and financial consideration.
* The Newport Beach Breakers traded the rights for Ramon Delgado to the Philadelphia Freedoms for financial consideration.
@ The New York Buzz sold their fourth round draft position to the Sacramento Capitals for financial consideration.
~ The Sacramento Capitals have traded the rights for Angela Haynes to the Washington Kastles for financial consideration.
2010 WTT Pro League full rosters (including marquee and roster players)
BOSTON LOBSTERS: James Blake, Eric Butorac, Jan-Michael Gambill, Coco Vandeweghe, Raquel Kops-Jones. Coach Bud Schultz.
KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Jarmila Groth, Sam Groth, Kveta Peschke, Ricardo Mello. Coach: Brent Haygarth.
PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Prakash Amritraj, Ramon Delgado, Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, Courtney Nagle, Andy Roddick. Coach: Craig Kardon
NEW YORK BUZZ: Sarah Borwell, Alex Domijan, Martina Hingis, Scoville Jenkins. Coach Jay Udwadia.
NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Kim Clijsters, Ashley Harkleroad, Robert Kendrick, John McEnroe, Abigail Spears, Jesse Witten. Coach Chuck Adams.
NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Lester Cook, Julie Ditty¸ David Martin, Marie-Eve Pelletier, Maria Sharapova. Coach Trevor Kronemann.
SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Brett Joelson, Vania King, Dusan Vemic, Riza Zalameda.
ST. LOUIS ACES: Lindsay Davenport, Liga Dekmeijere, Anna Kournikova, Andrei Pavel, Tripp Phillips. Coach: Rick Leach.
SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Martin Damm, Rik De Voest, Carly Gullickson, Chani Scheepers. Coach: John-Laffnie de Jager.
WASHINGTON KASTLES: Angela Haynes, Leander Paes, Bobby Reynolds, Rennae Stubbs, Serena Williams, Venus Williams. Coach: Murphy Jensen.
NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 11, 2010) – The 2010 World TeamTennis Pro League season will be highlighted by head-to-head matches between five former and current world No. 1 players – Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport and current world No. 1 Serena Williams – during the 3-week season, which starts July 5. League officials released the 73-match season schedule for the 10 WTT franchises today.
Hingis, who plays for the New York Buzz, is scheduled to take on the Washington Kastles’ Serena Williams and Venus Williams, and Clijsters, who is a member of the New York Sportimes. Venus Williams and the St. Louis Aces’ Lindsay Davenport will face off in St. Louis.
Each of the 10 teams will play 14 matches – seven home, seven away. Eastern Conference teams are the 2009 WTT Champions Washington Kastles, Boston Lobsters, New York Buzz, New York Sportimes and Philadelphia Freedoms. Western Conference teams are Newport Beach Breakers, Sacramento Capitals, St. Louis Aces, Springfield Lasers and Kansas City Explorers. This summer marks the 35th season of the coed League which was co-founded in the 1970s by Billie Jean King.
The Marquee Player lineup for 2010 includes some of the biggest names in tennis, including Serena Williams (Washington Kastles), Venus Williams (Washington Kastles), Andy Roddick (Philadelphia Freedoms), Kim Clijsters (New York Sportimes), John McEnroe (New York Sportimes), Martina Hingis (New York Buzz), Lindsay Davenport (St. Louis Aces), Anna Kournikova (St. Louis Aces), Maria Sharapova (Newport Beach Breakers) and James Blake (Boston Lobsters).
Hingis is returning to WTT action for the first time since 2006 and will face some of the WTA Tour’s biggest current stars this July. Hingis, who is playing the entire season for the Albany-based New York Buzz, will try to even her head-to-head record with Serena Williams during a special road match at the Glens Falls Civic Center in Glens Falls, N.Y., on July 9. Hingis will play the remaining six home matches at the team’s regular home venue, SEFCU Arena at the University at Albany (July 5, 6, 13, 14, 16, 20). Hingis, a former world No. 1 in both singles and doubles, hits the road for seven matches including visits to Washington DC (July 7 vs. Venus Williams, July 12), Boston (July 11), Springfield (July 17), New York Sportimes (July 19 vs. Kim Clijsters), Philadelphia (July 21), and St. Louis (July 22).
Venus Williams, who was traded from the Philadelphia Freedoms to the Washington Kastles prior to last month’s Marquee Player Draft, will play three matches for the Kastles. She starts her 7th WTT season at home for the Kastles on July 7 before returning to Philadelphia on July 8 to take on her former team. Venus finishes her season in St. Louis on July 10 when she takes on the Aces and 3-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport.
Serena Williams teams up with her Kastles squad for four matches – one at home and three on the road. The first is a highly anticipated showdown against Martina Hingis and the New York Buzz in Glens Falls, N.Y. Serena leads their career head-to-head series 7-6. Serena plays in Philadelphia on July 13, Washington DC on July 14 and in New York City against the New York Sportimes on July 15.
WTT veteran Lindsay Davenport returns for her 9th season and her first with the Aces since 2001. Davenport will play 10 matches including six at Dwight Davis Tennis Center in St. Louis (July 6, 7, 9, 10, 13, 17). Davenport is scheduled to battle Venus Williams on July 10 when the Aces host the Washington Kastles. Davenport opens up the season on the road on July 5 in Springfield, followed by away matches in Sacramento on July 14, Newport Beach on July 15 and Kansas City on July 18.
Kournikova returns for her eighth WTT season and her third with the St. Louis Aces. The former world no. 1 doubles star will play four matches for the Aces. Kournikova opens the season at home when she will team with Lindsay Davenport. Kournikova plays road matches on July 19 in Boston, July 20 in Philadelphia and July 21 in Washington, DC.
John McEnroe marks his 10th year in the WTT Pro League with five matches, including two at home at Sportimes’ Stadium at Randall’s Island on July 12 and July 19. The July 19 match will be an all-star showcase as McEnroe will be joined by new Sportimes’ teammate and 2009 US Open Champion Kim Clijsters to take on the Hingis-led New York Buzz. McEnroe also plays in Albany against the Buzz on July 13, July 20 in Washington DC, and July 22 in Newport Beach. This is second WTT season for Clijsters who was acquired by the Sportimes in an off-season trade with the St. Louis Aces.
2010 top draft pick Andy Roddick debuts for the Philadelphia Freedoms on the road with a July 14 match against the New York Sportimes. Roddick takes to the Freedoms’ new court at Villanova University on July 15 when the Freedoms host the Boston Lobsters.
Maria Sharapova, who first played WTT as a 14-year-old, will play one home match on July 20 in Newport Beach when the Breakers host the Kansas City Explorers.
Former Harvard All-American James Blake returns to Boston as a member of the Boston Lobsters for one home match on July 8 and one road match against the New York Sportimes on July 7.
Team lineups will be finalized at the WTT Roster Draft on Tuesday, March 16 at 11am EST on WTT.com. Marquee players typically play a limited schedule while roster players play the full 3-week season.