Sunday, August 2, 2015

Washington tops Austin for fifth straight WTT title

Posing with the King Trophy are (women, left to right) Madison Brengle, Martina
Hingis and Anastasia Rodionova and (men, left to right) coach Murphy Jensen,
owner Mark Ein, Sam Querrey and Leander Paes. CameraworkUSA
   The Washington Kastles winning today's World TeamTennis Finals was about as surprising as an NFL player getting arrested.
   Or Tiger Woods having a crummy round.
   Nothing against the Austin Aces, mind you. They're a swell team.
   But a squad with International Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Hingis, future Hall of Famer Leander Paes and 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Sam Querrey? Plus WTT Co-Female MVP Anastasia Rodionova and top-50 player Madison Brengle? Playing at home? Come on. These guys and gals are the 1927 Yankees of WTT.
   Washington defeated Austin 24-18 in extended play for its fifth straight WTT title, breaking the record of the now-defunct Sacramento Capitals (1997-2000), and sixth in seven years. The Kastles' six overall crowns tie the mark of the Capitals, who also triumphed in 2002 and 2007.
   "It's just a beautiful moment to share," said the 42-year-old Paes, who was named the Finals MVP. "I've had a really long career and done some really special things, and this is way up there with the best of them.
   "I'd like to dedicate this MVP award to every single Kastles member, not only on the court but behind the scenes, and every single Kastles fan."
   Kastles coach Murphy Jensen called the latest title, which came in WTT's 40th season, "a dream come true. It's so different; you'd think this'd get old hat, but it doesn't. It was a bigger challenger because players were coming and going during the season, but to get them all to perform the way they did against an extremely tough team says a lot about our organization."
   Washington (12-4) won the first four sets, but Elina Svitolina of Austin (13-3) beat Brengle 5-3 in the final set. That sent the match into extended play, and Brengle won the next game to continue the Kastles' dominance.
   Austin routed California 25-14 on Thursday night in the Western Conference Championship, ending the Dream's inaugural season.
In Washington, D.C.
   Mixed doubles -- Martina Hingis and Leander Paes (Kastles) def. Alla Kudryavtseva and Teymuraz Gabashvili 5-2.
   Women's doubles -- Hingis and Anastasia Rodionova (Kastles) def. Elina Svitolina and Kudryavtseva 5-4.
   Men's doubles -- Paes and Sam Querrey (Kastles) def. Gabashvili and Jarmere Jenkins 5-3.
   Men's singles -- Querrey (Kastles) def. Gabashvili 5-4.
   Women's singles -- Svitolina (Aces) def. Madison Brengle 5-3.
   Extended play -- Brengle (Kastles) def. Svitolina 1-0.

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