The Washington Kastles extended their win streak to 31 matches and moved one step closer to another undefeated season with a 19-15 win over the New York Sportimes at the WTT Eastern Conference Championship presented by GEICO on Saturday at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.
Washington will face the Western Conference Champion Sacramento Capitals on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in the WTT Finals. The Kastles are the defending WTT champions, winning the 2011 WTT title with an undefeated 16-0 season.
With the score tied at 14-14 heading into the final set of women's singles, Ashley Harkleroad gave New York the overall lead with a break of Venus Williams' serve in the opening game. Williams immediately broke back and ran out the set and the match 5-1. "I enjoy the pressure and there was so much pressure today to keep the streak going and get into the Finals," said Williams.
It didn't take long for the Washington Kastles to take early control of the match, with 2012 WTT Male MVP Bobby Reynolds and Leander Paes teaming up for a 5-2 win over John McEnroe and Robert Kendrick.
The Sportimes battled back in mixed doubles to even the match after two sets with a 5-2 win. Kveta Peschke started with McEnroe and ended the set with Robert Kendrick for the victory over Venus Williams and Leander Paes.
In men's singles, the steady play of Reynolds was too much for New York's Jesse Witten as Reynolds won the set 5-2, giving the Kastles a 12-9 halftime lead.
Peschke and Ashley Harkleroad upended Williams and Anastasia Rodionova in women's doubles 5-2 to even the match at 14-all heading into the final set.
The key to the Kastles victory was playing the big points better than New York. Washington won seven of ten 3-all points throughout the five sets. "We had to play hard," said Paes. "Hats off to New York, they threw everything at us. I am so happy to be on this Kastles team. This is what we do, we fight together as a team. Tomorrow's final will be a real highlight of the season."
The Sacramento Capitals lineup for the WTT Finals includes Kevin Anderson, Coco Vandeweghe, Mark Knowles, Yasmin Schnack and Asia Muhammad.
FINAL RESULTS - WTT Eastern Conference Championship presented by GEICO
Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.
WASHINGTON KASTLES def. New York Sportimes 19-15
Men's Doubles - Leander Paes\Bobby Reynolds (Kastles) def. Robert Kendrick\John McEnroe (Sportimes) 5-2
Mixed Doubles - Kveta Peschke\Robert Kendrick (Sportimes) def. Venus Williams\Leander Paes (Kastles) 5-2
Men's Singles - Bobby Reynolds (Kastles) def. Jesse Witten (Sportimes) 5-2
Women's Doubles - Ashley Harkleroad\Kveta Peschke (Sportimes) def. Anastasia Rodionova\Venus Williams (Kastles) 5-2
Women's Singles - Venus Williams (Kastles) def. Ashley Harkleroad (Sportimes) 5-1
NEXT MATCH - at Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.:
Sunday, Sept. 16 - WTT Finals presented by GEICO - Sacramento Capitals vs. Washington Kastles - 3:30 p.m. (Eastern)