Thursday, March 19, 2015

World #1 Serena Williams Returns to Washington Kastles

Serena Williams returns to the Washington Kastles this summer

From our friends at the Washington Kastles...

Serena Joins Venus, Querrey and Fellow Australian Open Champions Paes and Hingis

Kastles seeking first 5-Peat in Mylan World TeamTennis history July 12 - August 2

Reigning Australian Open and US Open singles champion Serena Williams returns to the Washington Kastles this summer as the team seeks its fifth Mylan World TeamTennis title in a row and sixth overall.

The World No. 1 will represent Washington in a home match at Kastles Stadium during the Mylan WTT regular season July 12-29.

"Kastles Stadium is where I put on my first championship ring and played in front of the first lady," Williams said following Monday's Mylan WTT Draft. "I've got so many great memories as a Kastle and I'm looking forward to making more this summer."

Williams is joined on the Washington roster by her sister Venus Williams and three other members of the Kastles' 2014 championship team: Leander Paes, Martina Hingis and Anastasia Rodionova. Second-ranked American Sam Querrey debuts for the team this season and rounds out coach Murphy Jensen's squad.

Kastles owner Mark Ein made Serena Williams the first member of his inaugural team on February 19, 2008. Washington is on a nine-match winning streak with Serena, who previously played for the Kastles in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

Since then, Serena has risen to the top of the WTA rankings, captured titles at all four Grand Slam tournaments, and swept the singles and doubles gold medals at the London Olympics. She is 10-0 this season on the WTA Tour.

Her older sister and Olympic partner Venus Williams is also coming back to D.C. for one home match.

Currently ranked 17th, Venus is 15-3 on tour this season with a win over World No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki and two over World No. 8 Agnieszka RadwaƄska. At the Australian Open, she reached a Grand Slam singles quarterfinal for the first time since 2010.

Australian Open mixed doubles champions Leander Paes and Martina Hingis will again serve as two of the Kastles' core players. They are 17-2 in two seasons as Kastles mixed doubles partners and agreed to team up in Melbourne on their plane ride to the 2014 Mylan WTT Finals.

Paes will play the entire season for the Kastles and Hingis will join the team midway through for at least three home matches, select away matches, and playoff and championship matches.

The Hall-of-Famer Hingis will reunite with 22nd-ranked doubles player Anastasia Rodionova in women's doubles. A Kastle since 2012, Rodionova won women's doubles sets during each of the last three Mylan WTT championship matches.

Rounding out the Kastles is World No. 43 Sam Querrey, who replaces the retired Bobby Reynolds. The big-serving Querrey has won seven singles titles on the ATP World Tour, holds the tour record with 10 consecutive aces in a match, and boasts career-high rankings of No. 17 in singles and No. 23 in doubles.

Querrey previously played Mylan WTT for the St. Louis Aces (2008-09) and Sacramento Capitals (2012-13). He will represent the Kastles throughout the final two weeks of the regular season and is eligible to compete in the playoffs.

Altogether, the 2015 Kastles have captured 88 Grand Slam titles and spent 542 weeks atop the world rankings.

"Our 2015 roster may be our best ever," said Kastles owner Mark Ein. "I am so pleased for our fans that Serena is returning to D.C. while she is in the middle of proving that she may be the greatest female tennis player of all time.

"Serena, Venus, Martina and Leander have all won at least 15 Grand Slams. Along with Sam and Anastasia, they are coming together to keep the King Trophy in Washington."

In Mylan WTT's 40th season, Washington aims to become the first team in league history to win a fifth consecutive title. Should the Kastles successfully defend the King Trophy, they would tie the Sacramento Capitals for most overall titles with six.

Kastles Stadium hosts seven regular season matches July 12-29, with the full schedule expected to be released later this month.

If Washington posts the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Kastles will have home court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Eastern Conference Championship match is scheduled for July 30, followed by the Mylan WTT Finals on August 2.

Single-match Kastles tickets go on sale this spring. In the meantime, fans are encouraged to secure season tickets to see Serena, Venus and the rest of the Kastles. A limited number of four-seat VIP tables and boxes are available, as well as individual seats with spectacular views in the Kastles Baseline Experience and Kastles Baseline Club. Season tickets start at $150 and can be purchased by calling 202-4-TENNIS (483-6647).

About the Washington Kastles:
Founded in 2008 by local entrepreneur Mark Ein, the Washington Kastles have won four consecutive Mylan World TeamTennis titles and five overall. In 2011 and 2012, they completed the only perfect seasons in the league's 39-year history. In 2013, Washington extended its winning streak to 34 matches, setting a new major U.S. pro sports record. The Kastles are 58-6 over the last four seasons. The team's mission is to bring the D.C. community together, make tennis accessible to everyone in the Greater Washington area and actively support local charitable partners. To that end, the Kastles provide ticket or racquet donations to nearly 200 charitable, military and civic organizations each year. Learn more about the team by visiting

About Mylan World TeamTennis:
2015 marks the 40th season for Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT), the groundbreaking leader in professional team tennis competition. Mylan WTT features many of the world’s best players competing annually for the King Trophy, the league’s championship trophy named after co-founder Billie Jean King. This summer, Mylan WTT becomes only the fifth major professional team sports league in the U.S. to reach the 40th season milestone.

Mylan WTT has been a pioneer in the sports world with many of the league’s modernizations recognized and adopted by others in the industry. In addition to being the first professional sports league to feature men and women competing equally on a team, Mylan WTT has showcased advancements such as no-ad and cumulative scoring, on-court coaching and playing let serves.