Friday, July 25, 2014

WTT: Washington Kastles 21 Philadelphia Freedoms 16

Congratulations to the WTT Eastern Conference Champions

Last night's WTT Eastern Conference Championship won't soon be forgotten by the jubilant crowd at Kastles Stadium/Charles E. Smith Center. Not only did the Washington Kastles advance to their fourth straight league finals, with a thrilling 21-16 win over the Philadelphia Freedoms - They also bid farewell to a living legend. To everyone's surprise (and disappointment) last night's victory was Bobby Reynolds' final home game for the Kastles: Reynolds is retiring after next Sunday's WTT Finals. Kastles owner Mark Ein orchestrated a warm send-off for the 2010 Mylan WTT Rookie of the Year and 2012 WTT Male MVP.

Reynolds' emotional good-bye capped a wonderful individual performance for the dynamic right-hander. He got things started with an emphatic 5-3 win in Men's Singles; then wrapped things up with a 1-0 Men's Doubles clincher in OT (with partner Leander Paes.) In between, Martina Hingis rallied from a 5-2 loss to Philly's Taylor Townsend in Women's Singles to back-to-back Doubles victories. First, she paired up with Paes to win Mixed Doubles 5-2,; then she teamed up with Anastasia Rodionova to win a crazy (ultimately one-sided) Women's Doubles over Townsend and Liezel Huber, who had to leave with a head injury early in the fourth set. By the time Philly's Frank Dancevic & Marcelo Melo took the court for the fifth and deciding set, Washington already led 17-11. Dancevic & Melo won the final set 5-3, but couldn't find an answer to Paes & Reynolds in overtime.

Great send-off for Bobby Reynolds

With last night's victory, Washington will try for a rare four-peat on Sunday afternoon at Mediacom Stadium at the Cooper Tennis Complex vs. the Springfield Lasers. The Lasers upset the San Diego Aviators 22-17, stunning the world's #1 men's doubles team Bob & Mike Bryan 5-3 in the final set, to set-up a rematch of last year's championship (won by the Kastles, 25-12 in Washington.)

Bobby Reynolds put Washington up early, 5-3

I'm not sure where things stand with the Southwest Waterfront redevelopment; but I'd love to see at least one more Kastles' season at GW's Charles E. Smith Center. 2014 was definitely... one for the books. Go Kastles! I'm already looking forward to another banner celebration next summer.

Martina Hingis won Mixed and Women's Doubles

Click here for last night's box score.

Leander Paes

Anastasia Rodionova

Anastasia Rodionova & Martina Hingis (r) talk strategy

Hall of Famer (and living legend) Billie Jean King

Taylor Townsend upset Martina Hingis in Women's Singles

Marcelo Melo