Martina Hingis, the 2012 WTT Female MVP, has been added to the lineup of tennis stars for the WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO, Sept. 14-16, at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.
Hingis, a five-time Grand Slam singles champion, confirmed to League officials today that she will be in Charleston to lead her New York Sportimes team for the WTT Finals Weekend. Hingis, who finished first in WTT women's singles during the regular season, is expected to face off against Venus Williams in women's singles during the Eastern Conference championship showdown on Sept. 15 between long-time rivals, the New York Sportimes and Williams' undefeated Washington Kastles. Hingis will be joined by Hall of Famer John McEnroe, Jesse Witten, Robert Kendrick, and Ashley Harkleroad for the Sportimes. Chuck Adams is the coach of the Sportimes.
This will be a rematch of the July 21 contest that featured Williams defeating Hingis to rally the Kastles from six games back in the final set to give Washington a Supertiebreaker win over the Sportimes and keep their win streak intact.
The Western Conference title will be decided on Sept. 14 when the six-time champion Sacramento Capitals battle the Orange County Breakers. The Breakers will be without the services of WTT veteran Lindsay Davenport who is out of the WTT Finals Weekend with a torn ligament in her left wrist. Davenport, who is sporting a cast for the next several weeks, tripped at home and injured her wrist. She will be replaced in the Breakers lineup by her teammate and former collegiate standout Jana Juricova. Juricova, who played nine matches for Orange County during the regular season, won the 2011 NCAA singles championship while playing for UC-Berkeley and was also named ITA National Player of the Year in 2011. Trevor Kronemann is the Breakers coach.
The lineup for the Kastles will be Williams, who last month won the Olympic gold medal in doubles with her sister Serena Williams, along with 2012 WTT Male MVP Bobby Reynolds, Leander Paes, Anastasia Rodionova and Arina Rodionova. Paes is considered one of the sports' greatest doubles champions, with 50 titles and having completed the career doubles Grand Slam earlier this year with a victory at the Australian Open.
The Kastles are looking to win their second consecutive WTT title and continue their 30-match win streak. After capturing the 2011 title in Charleston with a 16-0 record, the Kastles won all 14 of their 2012 regular season matches. The Kastles have not lost a WTT match since July 22, 2010, which gives them the second longest U.S. pro sports team win streak in history with 30 consecutive wins. The longest U.S. pro sports team win streak is 33 games, held by the NBA's 1971-72 Lakers. 2012 WTT Coach of the Year Murphy Jensen is at the helm of the Kastles.
The best of the West face off on Friday, Sept. 14, at 6:30 p.m. EDT, when the Orange County Breakers take on the Sacramento Capitals in the Western Conference Championship. The Breakers are the top seed in the West and their lineup is WTT Male Rookie of the Year John-Patrick Smith, Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Jana Juricova and Travis Parrott. Groenefeld and Parrott are both mixed doubles Grand Slam champions. Groenefeld teamed with Sacramento's Mark Knowles to win the 2009 Wimbledon mixed doubles title, while Parrott and Carly Gullickson of the Boston Lobsters won the 2009 US Open mixed championship.
South African Kevin Anderson, currently ranked No. 34 in the world in singles, leads the Sacramento squad that also includes former doubles world No. 1 Mark Knowles, and young Americans Yasmin Schnack and Asia Muhammad. Wayne Bryan, father of Olympic gold medalists Bob and Mike Bryan, is the longtime coach of the Sacramento Capitals.
The Conference Champions advance to the WTT Finals on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 3:30 p.m. EDT with the winner taking home the King Trophy, named after WTT co-founder Billie Jean King.
WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO - Schedule
Western Conference Championship –#2 Sacramento Capitals vs. #1 ORANGE COUNTY BREAKERS - Friday, September 14 – 6:30 PM EDT
Eastern Conference Championship – #2 New York Sportimes vs. #1 WASHINGTON KASTLES - Saturday, September 15 – 6:30 PM EDT
WTT Finals – #2 Western Conference Champion vs. #1 EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPION - Sunday, September 16 – 3:30 PM EDT
Team Rosters (subject to change):
NEW YORK SPORTIMES
Ashley Harkleroad (USA)
Martina Hingis (SUI)
Robert Kendrick (USA)
John McEnroe (USA)
Jesse Witten (USA)
Coach: Chuck Adams
Leander Paes (IND)
Anastasia Rodionova (AUS)
Arina Rodionova (AUS)
Bobby Reynolds (USA)
Venus Williams (USA)
Coach: Murphy Jensen
ORANGE COUNTY BREAKERS
Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER)
Jana Juricova (SVK)
Travis Parrott (USA)
John-Patrick Smith (AUS)
Coach: Trevor Kronemann
Kevin Anderson (RSA)
Mark Knowles (BAH)
Asia Muhammad (USA)
Yasmin Schnack (USA)
Coach: Wayne Bryan