new york sportimes

Agassi Tops McEnroe, But Sportimes Beat Lobsters in World Team Tennis

NEW YORK – On a night full of Marquee players, Martina Hingis stood tallest, winning her singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches to lead the NY Sportimes to a 22-18 World TeamTennis victory over the Boston Lobsters Thursday at Sportime Randall’s Island.

Boston’s doubles team of Jan-Michael Gambill and Eric Butorac topped Robert Kendrick and Jesse Witten, 5-3, to give the Lobsters the early lead.  Hingis and Ashley Harkleroad moved the Sportimes ahead with a 5-1 victory over Irina Falconi and Carly Gullickson-Eagle for an 8-6 N.Y. edge.

In the singles matchup of Marquee Players, Andre Agassi of the Lobsters (3-5) edged John McEnroe in a 5-4 tiebreak.  Then in mixed doubles, McEnroe and Hingis teamed to upend Agassi and Gullickson-Eagle, 5-3, for a 17-14 New York advantage.

The match came down to the women’s singles event, and Hingis was again up to the task, defeating Falconi, 5-4, for the final margin.

Proceeds from tonight’s match benefit  the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, McEnroe’s not-for-profit foundation to provide scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area.

The Sportimes (5-2) next visit the Philadelphia Freedoms on Friday.  Boston is off until Sunday, when they host the Sportimes at Ferncroft Country Club.

World TeamTennis
NY Sportimes 22, Boston Lobsters 18
Men’s Doubles –  Jan-Michael Gambill/Eric Butorac (Lobsters) def. Robert Kendrick/Jesse Witten, 5-3
Women’s Doubles – Ashley Harkleroad/Martina Hingis (Sportimes) def.   Irina Falconi/Carly Gullickson-Eagle, 5-1
Men’s Singles – Andre Agassi (Lobsters) def. John McEnroe, 5-4
Mixed Doubles – Hingis/McEnroe (Sportimes) def. Agassi/Gullickson-Eagle, 5-3
Women’s Singles – Hingis (Sportimes) def. Falconi, 5-4

Witten, Hingis Lead NY Sportimes Past Philadelphia Freedoms, 22-16, In World TeamTennis

NEW YORK – Jesse Witten and Martina Hingis each won a singles and doubles match as the NY Sportimes defeated the Philadelphia Freedoms, 22-16, in World TeamTennis action at Sportime Stadium on Randall’s Island Friday night.

The doubles team of Robert Kendrick and Witten ralled for at 5-3 win in the opening set, winning five of the last six games to top Luka Gregorc and Jordan Kerr.  Hingis then won a singles match over Kristyna Pliskova and mixed doubles with Kendrick, both by 5-3 counts, to lift the Sportimes’ advantage to 15-9.

But Philadelphia battled back behind twins Kristyna and Karolina Pliskova, who beat Hingis and Ashley Harkleroad, 5-2, to trim the Freedoms’ deficit to 17-14.

Witten completed the scoring with a 5-2 singles win over Gregorc for the final margin.

The Sportimes (2-1) visit the Kansas City Explorers on Sunday and Sacramento Capitals on Monday before returning to Randalls Island on Wednesday for a rematch vs. Philadelphia.  The Freedoms (1-2) host Springfield Saturday at Villanova. For more info, go to www.NYSportimes.com

World TeamTennis
NY Sportimes 22, Philadelphia Freedoms 16

Men’s Doubles – Robert Kendrick / Jesse Witten (Sportimes) def. Luka Gregorc/Jordan Kerr, 5-3
Women’s Singles – Martina Hingis (Sportimes) def. Kristyna Pliskova, 5-3
Mixed Doubles – Hingis/Kendrick def. Kerr/Karolina Pliskova
Women’s Doubles – Pliskova/Pliskova def. Ashley Harkleroad/Hingis, 5-2
Men’s Singles – Witten def. Gregorc, 5-2

Hingis Leads NY Sportimes Past Springfield In World TeamTennis Opener

NEW YORK – The NY Sportimes opened their World TeamTennis season with a 22-14 victory over the visiting Springfield (Mo.) Lasers at Sportime Stadium on Randall’s Island.  Sportimes Marquee Player Martina Hingis won her singles, doubles and mixed doubles to pace the hosts.

The Lasers’ Amir Weintraub began the night with a decisive 5-2 singles win over Robert Kendrick.  Hingis’ 5-3 victory over Timea Babos pulled the Sportimes to within 8-7, before the doubles tandem of Kendrick and Jesse Witten downed Weintraub and Devin Britton, 5-2, to give New York a 12-10 advantage.

Hingis then teamed with Ashley Harkleroad to top Babos and Maria Sanchez, 5-3, then partnered with Kendrick to down Sanchez and Britton, 5-1, for the final margin.

Springfield (0-2) hosts the defending WTT champion Washington Kastles on Wednesday.  The Sportimes (1-0) next visit the Kastles on Thursday. The next home match for the Sportimes will be Friday, July 13 at 7 pm against Philadelphia at Randall’s Island. For ticket information, go to www.NYSportimes.com

World TeamTennis
NY Sportimes 22, Springfield Lasers 14
Men’s Singles – Amir Weintraub (Lasers) def. Robert Kendrick, 5-2
Women’s Singles – Martina Hingis (Sportimes) def. Timea Babos, 5-3
Men’s Doubles – Jesse Witten/Kendrick (Sportimes) def. Weintraub/Devin Britton, 5-2
Women’s Doubles – Ashley Harkleroad/Hingis (Sportimes) def. Babos/Maria Sanchez 5-3
Mixed Doubles – Hingis/Kendrick (Sportimes) Sanchez/Britton, 5-1

Andre Agassi and John McEnroe World TeamTennis matchup

Tennis Legends To Compete As Highlight Of World TeamTennis NY Sportimes vs. Boston Lobsters At Sportime Stadium; Proceeds To Benefit Young N.Y. Area Tennis Players

NEW YORK, April 30, 2012 – Tennis Hall of Famers Andre Agassi and John McEnroe and all-time great Martina Hingis will compete as part of the World TeamTennis matchup between the New York Sportimes and Boston Lobsters, the team announced today.  In a special benefit night on July 19, proceeds will go towards the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP), to provide scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area.  The evening begins at 7 p.m. at Sportime Stadium on Randall’s Island.

Last year, McEnroe faced Bjorn Borg in the first JMTP benefit evening in front of a sold-out Sportimes Stadium crowd.

Johnny Mac Tennis Project recipients will attend the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which is completing its second year at Sportime Randall’s Island. Ticket prices for the match will be $250, $150 and $60; please consult your tax advisor concerning the tax deductibility of ticket purchases.  Tickets for the Benefit night on July 19, and for additional NY Sportimes home matches on July 10, 13, 18 and 25, can be purchased by calling 1-888-WTT-NYC1 or by visiting www.nysportimes.com.

“This year’s Johnny Mac Tennis Project Night will highlight three of the most popular and exciting players ever to play the sport,” said Sportime Clubs and NY Sportimes CEO Claude Okin.  “Andre Agassi has become a notable humanitarian and ambassador for tennis as a life changing opportunity.  We are thrilled that he will be part of this great night to benefit our efforts to improve the lives of young people and young players here in New York City.”

“I’m committed to giving opportunities to youngsters in the New York area to help them reach their full potential as tennis players and as people through the Johnny Mac Tennis Project,” said McEnroe.  “This night is critical in making the JMTP a success, and getting to face Andre in a WTT match will make it even more special.”

Agassi and McEnroe met four times while active on the ATP World Tour, each winning two matches.  McEnroe won in 1986 in Stratton Mountain, Vt., and in 1989 in Dallas, while Agassi was victorious in 1988 in Los Angeles and 1992 in the semifinals at Wimbledon.

“Youth tennis and education have always been extremely important to me,” said Agassi, who won 60 career singles titles.  Among those were eight Grand Slam crowns, including wins at all four major venues.  “I am proud to support John’s program and look forward to competing against him in an exciting match on July 19.”

This will be the fifth appearance in WTT for Agassi, who previously competed for the Sacramento Capitals from 2002-2004 and the Philadelphia Freedoms in 2009.

Bahar Uttam, Owner of the Boston Lobsters, explained, “It is the Lobsters’ pleasure and honor to be supporting what Sportime and John McEnroe are doing in New York, and, of course, we are thrilled to have all-time-great, Hall-of-Famer Andre Agassi joining our team for this 2012 season WTT match.  What a great night it will be.”

The July 19 WTT match will feature Agassi and McEnroe competing against each other in both men’s singles and in doubles in the five set WTT format.  Martina Hingis will also play for the New York Sportimes that evening as McEnroe’s team member; they will be joined by veteran New York Sportimes players Robert Kendrick, Jesse Witten and Ashley Harkleroad, three of the standouts who helped the squad reach the World TeamTennis finals in 2010.

The 2012 WTT regular season runs from July 9-28, with the top two teams from both the Western and Eastern Conference advancing to the WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO, September 14-16, at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.

2012 SPORTIMES Home Schedule

July 10            Springfield Lasers, 7 p.m., at Sportime/Randall’s Island

(Sportimes – Martina Hingis)

July 13            Philadelphia Freedoms, 7 p.m., at Sportime/Randall’s Island

(Sportimes – Martina Hingis; Philadelphia – Ryan Harrison)

July 18            Philadelphia Freedoms, 7 p.m., at Sportime/Randall’s Island

(Sportimes – Martina Hingis)

July 19            Boston Lobsters, 7 p.m., at Sportime/Randall’s Island

(Sportimes – Hingis, McEnroe; Boston – Andre Agassi)

July 23            Washington Kastles, 7:30 p.m., at Albany/SEFCU Arena

(Sportimes – Hingis; Washington – Venus Williams)

July 24            Boston Lobsters, 7:30 p.m., at Albany/SEFCU Arena

(Sportimes – Hingis; Boston – John Isner)

July 25            Washington Kastles, 7 p.m., at Sportime/Randall’s Island

(Sportimes – Hingis, McEnroe)

Tickets for Sportimes matches are available by calling 888-WTT-NYC1 or by visitingwww.nysportimes.com.  For more information on matches in Albany, visitwww.NYSportimes.com/Albany or call 518-393-0440.

2012 Sportimes’ partners include USTA Eastern Section, GEICO, USTA, Wilson, DecoTurf, Principal Funds, SPORTIME Clubs, Tennis.com, Arizon Tennis Domes, NY Orthopedics, and Randall’s Island Park Alliance.

About the Johnny Mac Tennis Project

The Johnny Mac Tennis Project, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation whose purpose is to expose young athletes in the greater New York metropolitan area to high level, competitive tennis by raising public and private funds in order to provide scholarships to attend a non-residential tennis academy/training facility, to obtain lessons and to fund the costs and expenses associated with travel to regional, national and international tournaments and on-site coaching at such tournaments.

Kastles remain unbeaten, top Sportimes, 23-15

The Washington Kastles kept their unbeaten season alive with a 23-15 victory over the New York Sportimes in World TeamTennis action at SPORTIME on Randall’s Island.  Serena Williams won her women’s doubles and mixed doubles matches, Leander Paes won his men’s doubles and mixed doubles and Bobby Reynolds was victorious in singles and men’s doubles to pace the victorious Kastles (13-0).

The mixed doubles team of Williams and Paes began with a 5-1 victory over Hingis and Travis Parrott, before Hingis gained a measure of revenge with a 5-3 singles victory over Williams to pull New York (7-7) to within 8-6.

The men’s doubles event followed, with Paes and  Reynolds teaming for a 5-2 victory that extended the Kastles’ margin to 13-8.  Williams and Rennae Stubbs topped Hingis and Katie O’Brien to give the Kastles a commanding 18-11 advantage.

Reynolds finished off the win with a 5-4 win over Jesse Witten.

The match concludes the regular season for the Sportimes, who now need a loss by the Boston Lobsters in their late match tonight at Sacramento or Thursday at Newport Beach, in order to qualify for the WTT Championship, Friday through Sunday in Charleston, S.C.

Washington hosts Philadelphia Thursday as it tries to complete the undefeated regular season.

Washington Kastles 23, New York Sportimes 15 at New York

Mixed doubles – Serena Williams/Leander Paes (Wash.) def. Travis Parrott/Martina Hingis, 5-1
Women’s singles – Martina Hingis (N.Y.) def. Serena Williams, 5-3
Men’s doubles – Bobby Reynolds/Leander Paes (Wash.) def. Travis Parrott/Jesse Witten, 5-2
Women’s doubles – Serena Williams/Rennae Stubbs (Wash.) def. Katie O’Brien/Martina Hingis, 5-3
Men’s singles – Bobby Reynolds (Wash.) def. Jesse Witten, 5-4

Springfield rallies to top New York Sportimes

Springfield’s doubles tandem of Jean Anderson and Rik DeVoest won the last five games of their doubles match against John McEnroe and Travis Parrott to defeat the host New York Sportimes, 20-17, in World TeamTennis action on Randall’s Island in New York tonight.

The Sportimes (6-4) had won eight straight games to take a 17-15 lead and appeared headed for the win before Anderson and DeVoest pulled out the victory for the Lasers (3-6).

DeVoest started things for Springfield, edging Jesse Witten in a tiebreaker, before the women’s duo of Carly Gullickson and Lilia Osterloh extended the Lasers’ margin to 10-5 with a 5-1 triumph in the second event. Gullickson then teamed with DeVoest to edge the Sportimes’ Marquee team of Martina Hingis and John McEnroe, 5-4.

But Hingis swept the women’s singles event, 5-0, over Osterloh (with Gullickson replacing her in the fifth game), to pull the Sportimes to within a single point at 15-14.

Second-place New York visits Kansas City on Saturday to take on the Exporers, led by Bryan Brothers, then play two matches in Albany on Monday and Tuesday before concluding the regular season at home vs. first-place Washington and Serena Williams on Wednesday. Springfield returns home to take on Philadelphia on Saturday.

World TeamTennis at New York

Springfield Lasers 20, New York Sportimes 17

Men’s singles: Rik DeVoest (Spring.) def. Jesse Witten (N.Y.), 5-4
Women’s doubles: Carly Gullickson/Lilia Osterloh (Spring.) def. Martina Hingis/Katie O’Brien, 5-1
Mixed doubles: Carly Gullickson/Rik DeVoest (Spring.) def. Martina Hingis/John McEnroe, 5-4
Women’s singles: Martina Hingis (N.Y.) def. Lilia Osterloh (Carly Gullickson substitution, game 5), 5-0
Men’s doubles: Jean Andersen/Rik DeVoest (Spring.) def. John McEnroe/Travis Parrott 5-3

McEnroe edges Borg but Philadelphia Freedoms rally to top New York Sportimes, 21-19

John McEnroe edged Bjorn Borg, 5-4, but the visiting Philadelphia Freedoms rallied past the New York Sportimes, 21-19, in World TeamTennis action on Thursday night at Sportime on Randall’s Island.

Trailing, 17-16, Philadelphia sent Beatrice Capra up against Martina Hingis in the women’s singles competition, which Capra claimed, 5-2, to give the Freedoms the win.

Philadelphia’s mixed doubles tandem of Lisa Raymond and Nathan Healey opened the match with a 5-4 win over Katie O’Brien and Travis Parrott. O’Brien and Hingis teamed to win women’s doubles, 5-2 over Raymond and Capra. Healey and Brendan Evans evened the match with a 5-3 men’s doubles victory over McEnroe and Parrott, before McEnroe’s win over Borg gave the Sportimes a slim edge entering the final event.

New York (6-3) hosts Springfield on Friday, while Philadelphia (1-8) returns home to face Boston.

Proceeds from the match benefited the John McEnroe Tennis Project.

World TeamTennis at New York

Philadelphia Freedoms 21, New York Sportimes 19
Mixed Doubles – Lisa Raymond/Nathan Healey (Phil.) d. Katie O’Brien /Travis Parrott, 5-4
Women’s Doubles – Martina Hingis/Katie O’Brien (N.Y.) d. Beatrice Capra/Lisa Raymond, 5-2
Men’s Doubles – Brendan Evans/Nathan Healey d. John McEnroe/Travis Parrott, 5-3
Men’s Singles – John McEnroe (N.Y.) d. Bjorn Borg, 5-4
Women’s Singles – Beatrice Capra (Phil.) d. Martina Hingis, 5-2

Kastles’ win brings fashion with John McEnroe and Martina Hingis

The Washington Kastles have gone on a winning streak this season, going 6-0 by defeating the New York Sportimes on Tuesday evening 20-19. Even with the help of legends John McEnroe and Martina Hingis, New York could not pull off a win, succumbing in the last minutes of the match and losing in a super tiebreaker. Upon winning the final point, the stadium erupted in cheers with the Kastles’ players embracing each other in joy. Opponents Leander Paes and Martina Hingis even shared an extended tender moment at the net exchanging stories.

Courtesy of: Kelyn Soong

The evening began with a John McEnroe sighting. He arrived to his press conference dressed in some questionable fashion and it only got better (worse?) when he stepped on court to warm up Jesse Witten who opened in men’s singles. As eclectic as McEnroe is, he still somehow surprises even the most ardent fan.

Courtesy of: Kelyn Soong

McEnroe went on to play both the mixed and men’s doubles, looking deceptively sharp even if not too energized. He was pretty low-key but seemed to take the loss the hardest, planting his face in a towel and looking dejected on the bench.

Conversely, the most radiant and glowing player of the evening was the lovely Martina Hingis. She was the designated “towel girl” for her teammates and did it with excitement, shining her unforgettable smile every time she got up. For a woman that is only 30 years old, it’s a wonder why she has been retired for four years. With a slew of players in her generation still winning grand slams, namely Li Na and Francesca Schiavone, tennis misses her charismatic personality. And speaking of grand slams, a fellow reporter asked Hingis about her aspirations to play mixed doubles with a certain top Swiss gentleman in next year’s Olympics. You can find her answer and the full scoop here. It’s juicy.

Hingis is currently sporting sportswear from her upcoming fashion line called Tonic during all the World Team Tennis matches this summer. The official launch date of her line is set for March 2012.

With only a few matches left before the end of the season, Kastles’ owner Mark Ein is hopeful that his team can do a repeat of their 2009 Championship season.

All photos provided by Kelyn Soong who is a freelance reporter and photographer. Follow his website here. You can also follow Kelyn on twitter, @Soongy12.

Sportimes rally past Aces, 16-15; McEnroe vs. Borg slated for Thursday at Randall’s Island

Martina Hingis and Jesse Witten won singles events, both by 5-0 counts, and Hingis won a super-tiebreak over Liezel Huber, 7-6, as the New York SPORTIMES rallied for a 16-15 World TeamTennis victory over the St. Louis Aces at SPORTIME on Randall’s Island Monday night.

The SPORTIMES (5-1) trailed the entire match, finally earning a tie on Hingis’s 5-0 victory in the fifth event, women’s singles.  By WTT rules, Hingis’ win over Maria Sanchez (with Huber replacing her for the final game) evened the match at 15, extending the match to a super tiebreak.  With the super-tiebreak tied at 6-6, Hingis won the deciding point, coming to the net after a 12-ball rally and stroking the winner.

The Sportimes next home match will be Thursday, July 14 against Philadephia when John McEnroe of the Sportimes will face his legendary rival Bjorn Borg.
Jean-Julien Rojer and Roman Borvanov’s opening event men’s doubles win, Huber and Sanchez topped the SPORTIMES’ duo of Hingis and Katie O’Brien, 5-1, to give the Aces (4-2) a commanding 10-3 match lead.  Witten swept a 5-0 third event over Borvanov to pull the hosts to within 10-8.  Huber and Rojer’s 5-2 win extended the Aces’ margin to 15-10 before Hingis’s heroics gave the SPORTIMES their fifth straight win.

New York visits first-place Washington in a battle of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday, while Western Conference-leading St. Louis continues its eastern swing against winless Philadelphia.

World TeamTennis at New York

N.Y. Sportimes 16, St. Louis Aces 15
Men’s Doubles – Roman Borvanov/Jean-Julien Rojer (St. L.) def. Travis Parrott/Jesse Witten, 5-2
Women’s Doubles – Liezel Huber/Maria Sanchez (St. L.) def. Martina Hingis/Katie O’Brien, 5-1
Men’s Singles – Jesse Witten (N.Y.) def. Roman Borvanov, 5-0
Mixed Doubles – Liezel Huber/Jean-Julien Rojer  (St. L.) def. Martina Hingis/Travis Parrott, 5-2
Women’s Singles – Martina Hingis def. Maria Sanchez (Liezel Huber replaced Sanchez in Game 5), 5-0
Super Tiebreak – Martina Hingis def. Liezel Huber, 16-15.

New York Sportimes start World Team Tennis home schedule Wednesday at Randall’s Island

By Lindsay Gibbs

The New York Sportimes will kick off their 2011 World Team Tennis season this week as they take on the Boston Lobsters on Tuesday night (in Boston) and make their home debut on Wednesday (July 6th) at Sportime Stadium on Randall’s Island in New York City at 7:00 PM.  Martina Hingis, the former world No. 1 and five-time major champion, will play for the Sportimes as they take on a Boston Lobsters team featuring former U.S. Davis Cupper Jan-Michael Gambill.

World Team Tennis is an innovative co-ed sports league that was co-founded by Billie Jean King. The competitive team atmosphere, multi-colored courts, mixture of stars, and integration of singles and doubles provides a fresh and energized take on the conventional tennis format.

The New York Sportimes have been competing in World Team Tennis since 2000. They are currently defending their 2010 Eastern Conference Championship and hope to win their second World Team Tennis Title this year to match the one they earned in 2005. The Sportimes 2011 team includes Martina Hingis, John McEnroe, Robert Kendrick, Katie O’Brien, Jesse Witten, and Abigail Spears and is coached by Fritz Buehning.

The Sportimes will play five matches at Randall’s Island (July 6, 11, 14, 15, 20), and two home matches in Albany at the SEFCU Stadium (July 18 and 19).  Many legends of the game will compete this year as World Team Tennis celebrates its 36th season, “A Season of Number Ones.” On July 14th at Sportime Stadium, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors will renew their heated rivalry when Connors’ Philadelphia Freedoms come to town. On July 20th Serena Williams and Martina Hingis will face off when the Washington Kastles come to Randall’s Island.

Ticket information and a full schedule for the highly anticipated New York Sportimes season can be found at www.NYSportimes.com You can also find out more information on the other nine World Team Tennis Teams and sixty-three matches happening around the country this summer at WTT.com.