Monday, July 27, 2015

WTT: Washington Kastles 24 Springfield Lasers 16

Time-out: The (Wimbledon) champs are here! 

This season's early hiccups appear to be way, way behind the Washington Kastles. Two home losses in a row? Mere bumps along the road to an unprecedented fifth straight WTT championship. It hasn't happened yet; but trust me, no-one's gonna stop the Kastles now that Martina Hingis is back with the team. Hingis made her much-anticipated home debut yesterday, leading the Kastles to a 24-16 win over the Springfield Lasers. With the win, Washington improves to 8-3: Springfield drops to 3-9.

Lest you think last night's win was easy, think again. The first two sets were decided by tiebreakers, and the Kastles & Lasers entered the third set (Men's Doubles) tied at 9. Hingis and Leander Paes reunited in Mixed Doubles, two weeks to the day removed from their Wimbledon championship. The champs fell behind early 3-1, before rallying to win a tie-breaker (5-3) and the first set 5-4.

Great return for Martina Hingis

Hingis, trooper that she is, stayed on court to battle the Lasers' Alison Riske in Women's Singles. Martina jumped on top 3-0; but Riske rallied to win in another tiebreaker, squaring the match 9-9. From then on however, it was all Kastles. Paes teamed up with Sam Querrey in Men's Doubles, where they dismantled Andre Begemann and Michael Russell 5-0. Hingis and Anastasia Rodionova then made equally quick work of Riske and Anna-Lena Grönefeld, winning Women's Doubles 5-2 to put Washington ahead (for good) 19-11. To put things into perspective... The first two sets took 58 minutes to complete: Sets three and four took only 35.

Querrey strode out to close the match, but fell to Russell in the third tiebreaker of the day. Due to WTT rules, Querrey had to win the final game... and did so (1-0) in extended play to secure the Kastles' fourth straight win. Speaking of (securing) the Kastles clinched their fifth consecutive Eastern Conference Saturday night, which spells home-court advantage for Thursday's playoff contest vs. either Boston or Philadelphia. A win on Thursday means Sunday's WTT championship will also be on home soil (vs. Austin or California.)

Murphy Jensen celebrates another win

Tickets are now on sale for Thursday's playoff contest (click here to purchase online) as well as the final two regular season home games - tonight vs. California, and Wednesday vs. Boston. All three matches start at 7 PM. As an added bonus, the Kastles are giving away free hats (Monday) and t-shirts (Wednesday) to the first 1,000 fans in attendance. Please note: Sunday's title game (yes, we're playing) starts at 11:30 AM.

Sam Querrey racked up 10 aces

Click here for yesterday's box score.

Michael Russell upset Querrey in Men's Singles

Alison Riske defeated Hingis in Women's Singles