Sunday, July 19, 2015

WTT: Washington Kastles 23 Philadelphia Freedoms 6

Leander Paes keeps an eye on the Jumbotron

Martina who? Just kidding Ms. Hingis (we still love you, still want you back) but what a difference, two wins in a row makes. Hingis' replacement, Madison Brengle was particularly awesome yesterday, winning Women's Doubles and Singles in convincing style (5-1 and 5-0 respectively.) That was only part of the Washington Kastles' domination on Saturday, as they rallied from a Mixed Doubles defeat to topple the Philadelphia Freedoms 23-6 at Charles E. Smith Center. Washington improved to 4-2, and took over sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference. Philly dropped to 1-5 (tied for worst in the league.)

If you watched only the first set, it would be hard to convince you of the annihilation yet to come. Marcelo Melo and Taylor Townsend put on a clinic of sorts, surprising Leander Paes and Anastasia Rodionova 5-3 in Mixed Doubles, to push Philadelphia out to an early lead. It was the third straight Mixed Doubles loss for the Kastles... the least likely scenario imaginable (at least to this observer.) Thankfully, Rodionova bounced back (with Brengle) to crush Townsend and Asia Muhammad 5-1, and put the Kastles ahead 8-6 after two sets. Little did Philly know, that would be their last winning game of the match.

Anastasia Rodionova

Paes and Denis Kudla teamed up to whitewash Melo and Robby Ginepri 5-nil in Men's Doubles, essentially sealing Washington's victory by halftime. It was fast too: I managed to surprise one of the other photographers in the media room, who assumed the third set was still going on.

Madison Brengle won Women's Singles and Doubles

After that, it seemed the visitors could do nothing right... losing Men's and Women's Singles in duplicate fashion (5-0.) Brengle brushed past Townsend, while Kudla steamrolled Ginepri (a former top-15 singles player) matching Washington's greatest margin of victory in franchise history.

Denis Kudla won Men's Singles and Doubles

Sadly for Philly (but perhaps advantageous for us) both teams will match-up for a third straight contest tomorrow at The Pavilion at Villanova University. Sadder still, Serena Williams won't be playing, as she recovers from a sore elbow she aggravated at last week's Swedish Open. Ditto for Tuesday's highly anticipated appearance in DC; but I'm sure everyone wants to see Serena at 100% for the US Open (and her historic quest for a rare Grand Slam.) The Kastles host conference rival Boston on Tuesday at 7 (sold out.) No Serena, no problem: I'm sure team owner extraordinaire Mark Ein will have something special in store for the sellout crowd.

Just chillin'

Click here for yesterday's box score.

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Leander's all smiles

Taylor Townsend

Asia Muhammad

Marcelo Melo

Robby Ginepri