With the top 2 play-off contenders pulling away from the pack, the battle for the 2 remaining spots is being played out at World TeamTennis in West Virginia where the Washington Kastles topped Orange County Breakers to stay in the hunt.
I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to be here at The Greenbrier. It’s my first time playing World TeamTennis. I’m grateful to get some matches in and be on a team. I definitely had some pressure today. I tried to just thrive in it and not let it affect me too much. I’m happy with the way I played. I was able to play some really good tennis, Caty McNally
Washington dominated the Breakers, 25-11, indoors at The Greenbrier in what is the largest margin of victory for a team so far this season.
Bernarda Pera earned her second consecutive win over a top-80 player in the world, taking down Jennifer Brady 5-1 to set the tone early for the Kastles.
The lefty won 10 of 12 return points on Brady’s second serve and converted 3 of her 5 break point chances.
Tommy Paul took out fellow American Steve Johnson with a 5-2 win to give the Kastles a 10-3 lead.
The 2015 French Open boys’ singles champion did not face a break point on his serve and broke Johnson’s serve twice, to begin the set and to close out the set.
Pera continued her great play in mixed doubles with Marcelo Arevalo, with the duo erasing an early break deficit for a 5-3 win over Gaby Dabrowski & Austin Krajicek, extending the lead for Washington to 15-6 entering half-time.
“He [Marcelo] brings a lot of energy and I think we make a great team on the court,” Pera said. “We get along well on and off the court and that is what helps a lot. I like the team play and the team spirit.”
Former World No 1 Venus Williams jumped in for the women’s doubles, teaming up with Arina Rodionova to face Dabrowski & Andreja Klepac.
Williams & Rodionova dug out of a 1-3 deficit and won a critical deciding point at 3-3 to storm back and eventually win 5-1 in the tiebreaker.
Three former college standouts finished off the evening in men’s doubles, with Nick Monroe of North Carolina and Arevalo of Tulsa battling Krajicek of Texas A&M and Britain’s Luke Bambridge.
The Kastles continued their stellar play, earning a 5-1 win as a result of winning all eight of their first serve points and saving the two break points they faced.
Orlando Storm stay alive in playoff chase with Vegas Rollers win
Jessica Pegula continued to anchor Orlando Storm, defeating Vegas Rollers’ Ajla Tomljanović, 5-4 in women’s singles, and although the 26-year old lost with Ken Skupski in the mixed doubles to Monica Puig & Mike Bryan, she then rebounded with Darija Jurak to defeat Puig & Tomljanović in a key women’s doubles set.
It all helped to take Orlando to a 22-16 win over the Roller.
“I’ll go back to the second set of the women’s singles,” Orlando coach Jay Gooding said. “We were down 3-1 in that one and turned that around. That helped with the momentum in my mind. That was massive.”
Tennys Sandgren opened the match with an impressive win over hard-hitting Sam Querrey, 5-3.
The two held serve through the first 6 games before Sandgren was able to break Querrey in the 7th and serve out in the 8th.
Tomljanović then came out strong in women’s singles and took 3 straight games for the 3-1 lead against Pegula.
She led 4-3 with the serve and a deciding point, but Pegula held strong during a tough rally to get the point to tie it at 4-all and force a tiebreak.
With the tiebreak knotted at 3, Tomljanović had the final 3 serves but double-faulted on the first and shot an unforced error into the net to give Pegula the set, 5-4.
With the match tied 12-12 after the mixed, Gooding said he wanted Jurak & Pegula to keep things close so they could send momentum into men’s doubles, but a couple of unforced errors by the Rollers helped Orlando dominate women’s doubles in a 5-1 win.
“I think [we’ve been] just figuring each other out, learning how to play a little bit better,” Pegula said, about teaming with Jurak this season. “She’s playing better and better every match.
“We knew we had to come out and try to get a little lead and help the men and we did, and it worked, and they played great.”
After both men’s doubles teams held serve in the first 6 games, the Storm broke Mike Bryan’s serve and finished off the match strongly by taking the set, 5-3.
Springfield Lasers thrill with 22-18 win over Aviators
18-year old Caty McNally is playing like a WTT veteran, scoring big wins in the mixed doubles with Robert Lindstedt and in the women’s doubles with Hayley Carter to lead the Springfield Lasers to a hard-fought 22-18 victory over the San Diego Aviators.
“I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to be here at The Greenbrier. It’s my first time playing World TeamTennis. I’m grateful to get some matches in and be on a team,” McNally said after the victory.
“I definitely had some pressure today. I tried to just thrive in it and not let it affect me too much. I’m happy with the way I played. I was able to play some really good tennis,” McNally added.
With the 4-game win over San Diego, the Lasers are now 3-6 and tied with the Aviators, who have dropped 3 straight matches now.
It all came down to the mixed doubles as CoCo Vandeweghe & Nicole Melichar of the Aviators took on McNally & Carter, with Springfield leading San Diego 17-14.
The Aviators led the set 2-1 when Carter hit a cross-court backhand wide on break point to drop serve, and Vandeweghe easily held serve in the next game to extend the Aviators lead to 4-1.
Just when it looked like Vandeweghe & Melichar would wrap up the set, McNally held serve and the Lasers then broke Melichar to get back on track and headed to the tiebreak.
The Aviators had 3 set points in the breaker to send the match to Extended Play, but the Lasers made a furious comeback and, at 3-4, McNally hit a cross-court backhand winner to even the score and gain match point for the Lasers.
McNally then clinched the victory for Springfield with a perfectly executed backhand winner at the net to end the match.
Jonny O’Mara & Ryan Harrison opened the day’s action for the Aviators in men’s doubles against Jean-Julien Rojer & Lindstedt of the Lasers.
At 1-1, O’Mara double-faulted on break point to drop his serve as the Lasers took a 2-1 lead and Rojer then held to extend Springfield’s lead to 3-1.
After Harrison closed the Laser’s lead to 3-2, Aviators Coach John Lloyd opted to replace him with his younger brother, Christian Harrison.
Later, with the Lasers leading 4-3, when Rojer served for the set, San Diego got a breakpoint at 30-40, but he slammed a cross-court overhead to get to a deciding 3-3 point
O’Mara’s down the line forehand service return went long as Rojer held serve to give the Lasers a 5-3 win in only 11 minutes.
Aviators Christina McHale faced hard-hitting Olga Govortsova next in the women’s singles.
The 6-foot Govortsova opened with a love hold and then took a 2-0 lead when McHale committed a forehand error on break point to drop her serve.
Govortsova began dictating points and held serve to extend her lead to 3-0, prompting coach Lloyd to substitute Vandeweghe for McHale, who got the Aviators on the scoreboard when she put away an overhead winner on a 3-3 deciding point to hold serve.
Vandeweghe cut the Lasers lead to 4-2 with an ace on game point, but Govortsova held her serve again to win the set 5-2 in 26 minutes.
With the Aviators trailing the Lasers 10-5, Ryan Harrison helped San Diego get back on track as he took 24 minutes to win the men’s singles with a 5-2 victory over Mitchell Krueger of the Lasers.
The Lasers led San Diego 12-10 at half-time as Ryan Harrison & Vandeweghe of the Aviators faced Lindstedt & McNally in the Mixed in which there were no breaks of serves and the set was ultimately decided in a tiebreak.
The Lasers took a 3-1 lead in the breaker and, after McNally double-faulted to make the score 3-2, Lindstedt took over, hitting a backhand crosscourt volley winner to reach set point at 4-2.
With the Aviators fighting to stay in the set, Lindstedt came up with another big shot as the 43-year-old from Sweden knocked off a forehand service return winner to win the tiebreak 5-2 and the mixed doubles set 5-4.
Springfield Lasers 22, San Diego Aviators 18
- Men’s Doubles – Jean-Julien Rojer\Robert Lindstedt (Lasers) def. Jonny O’Mara\Christian Harrison (Aviators), 5-3
- Women’s Singles – Olga Govortsova (Lasers) def. Coco Vandeweghe (Aviators), 5-2
- Men’s Singles – Ryan Harrison (Aviators) def. Mitchell Krueger (Lasers), 5-2
- Mixed Doubles – Lindstedt\Caty McNally (Lasers) def. R. Harrison\Vandeweghe (Aviators), 5-4
- Women’s Doubles – McNally\Hayley Carter (Lasers) def. Vandeweghe\Nicole Melichar (Aviators), 5-4
Orlando Storm 22, Vegas Rollers 16
- Men’s Singles – Tennys Sandgren (Strom) def. Sam Querrey (Rollers), 5-3
- Women’s Singles – Jessica Pegula (Storm) def. Ajla Tomljanovic (Rollers), 5-4
- Mixed Doubles – Mike Bryan\Monica Puig (Rollers) def. Ken Skupski\Pegula (Storm), 5-2
- Women’s Doubles – Darija Jurak\Pegula (Storm) def. Tomljanovic\Puig (Rollers), 5-1
- Men’s Doubles – Skupski\Sandgren (Storm) def. Bob Bryan\M. Bryan (Rollers), 5-3
Washington Kastles 25, Orange County Breakers 11
- Women’s Singles – Bernarda Pera (Kastles) def. Jennifer Brady (Breakers), 5-1
- Men’s Singles – Tommy Paul (Kastles) def. Steve Johnson (Breakers), 5-2
- Mixed Doubles – Marcelo Arevalo\Pera (Kastles) def. Austin Krajicek\Gabriela Dabrowski (Breakers), 5-3
- Women’s Doubles – Arina Rodionova\Venus Williams (Kastles) def. Andreja Klepac\Dabrowski (Breakers), 5-4
- Men’s Doubles – Nick Monroe\Arevalo (Kastles) def. Luke Bambridge\Krajicek (Breakers), 5-1