Monday, July 18, 2011

Kastles rout Capitals, remain unbeaten

  Entering Monday night's match, the Washington Kastles led the Eastern Conference of World TeamTennis, and the Sacramento Capitals were tied for first place in the Western Conference.
   Don't be deceived, though. Washington was 10-0 and Sacramento 6-4.
   As the records suggested, the host Kastles proved far superior, rolling to a 25-14 victory. For the first time this season, Sacramento lost all five sets (two in tiebreakers).
   WTT rookie Arina Rodionova, the younger sister of former Capital Anastasia Rodionova, crushed Vania King 5-0 in the fourth set to give Washington a 20-10 lead.
   The Kastles' full-time roster also features Leander Paes, who has won 12 Grand Slam doubles crowns (six men's and six mixed); Rennae Stubbs, who has captured six Grand Slam doubles titles (four women's and two mixed); and Bobby Reynolds, last season's WTT Male Rookie of the Year after leading the league in men's singles.
   Washington's part-time marquee players? Venus and Serena Williams.
   Sacramento remained tied for first place, but now there's a three-way logjam with the Kansas City Explorers and St. Louis Aces. The top two teams in each conference advance to the WTT playoffs, Friday through Sunday in Charleston, S.C.
   The Capitals probably must win two of their three remaining regular-season matches, all against losing teams, to reach the postseason for the first time since 2008.
   Sacramento visits the Springfield (Mo.) Lasers (4-7) on Tuesday night before hosting the Boston Lobsters (5-7) Wednesday night and Springfield on Thursday night.
   Washington 25, Capitals 14
   Mixed doubles -- Rennae Stubbs and Leander Paes, Wash., def. Vania King and Mark Knowles, Capitals, 5-4.
   Women's doubles -- Arina Rodionova and Rennae Stubbs, Wash., def. King and Yasmin Schnack, Capitals, 5-3.
   Men's doubles -- Paes and Bobby Reynolds, Wash., def. Knowles and Dusan Vemic, Capitals, 5-3.
   Women's singles -- Rodionova, Wash., def. King, Capitals, 5-0.
   Men's singles -- Reynolds, Wash., def. Vemic, Capitals, 5-4.

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