2011 champions seek to defend Perfect Season and capture third title in four years with roster filled with Grand Slam champions and Olympic contenders
WASHINGTON, July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Washington Kastles begin defending the first undefeated season in World TeamTennis history tonight, with five of six players from the 2011 team returning and two fresh Wimbledon champions helping to lead the way. Kastles' players and coaches have won 65 Grand Slam titles in total making them the favorites to recapture the King Trophy in 2012. In addition, four of the six players on the Kastles roster will be representing their countries this summer at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The Kastles open their fifth season tonight in Orange County against the Breakers, with the match streamed live at 10 p.m. EDT on WashingtonKastles.com.
The Kastles' first home match will be Thursday, July 12 at 7 p.m. EDT against Martina Hingis and the New York Sportimes at Kastles Stadium at The Wharf. Last season, almost every night at Kastles Stadium was a complete sell-out, with VIPs in attendance including First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, as the Washington community rallied around the team. In all, D.C.'s Southwest Waterfront will play host to seven sensational summer nights of Kastles' tennis, including the return of two women who have revolutionized the sport: Venus and Serena Williams.
Wimbledon singles and doubles champion Serena Williams, who has represented the Kastles since their inaugural 2008 season, will play a home match on July 22. Her sister and doubles partner Venus Williams plays in Washington on July 16.
"It's hard to believe that it has been a year since we completed the historic Perfect Season," Kastles' owner Mark Ein said. "Our team this season is an unprecedented collection of tennis champions, Olympians and sports icons. I know they are all excited to get back on the court as a team and play in front of the best and most energetic fans in tennis at Kastles Stadium."
The Kastles became the first undefeated champions in WTT history when they won their second title last season with a 16-0 record. They are the first U.S. major league pro sports team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to have an undefeated season.
Two-time WTT MVP Leander Paes, a Wimbledon mixed doubles finalist, will again lead the team as Captain. Joining the 13-time Grand Slam doubles champion Paes on Washington's roster are fan-favorite and Kastles' closer Bobby Reynolds, 2011 WTT Rookie of the Year and Finals MVP Arina Rodionova, and Arina's older sister Anastasia, the World No. 26 doubles player. Paes, Anastasia Rodionova, and Serena and Venus Williams will all be competing at the Olympic Games beginning on July 28.
The last time the Washington Kastles lost a match was on Thursday, July 22, 2010, when the Boston Lobsters defeated the Kastles in the final match of the 2010 regular season.
Comcast SportsNet Washington plans to broadcast live the Kastles' July 12 home opener and the team's July 22 match against the Kansas City Explorers at 7 p.m. EDT, when the Kastles will be led by Serena Williams.
Please visit Ticketmaster.com to secure your seats for the seven home matches.
Season tickets are available and can be purchased by calling 202-4TENNIS (483-6647).
About the Washington Kastles
Owned by local entrepreneur Mark Ein, the Washington Kastles are the 2009 and 2011 World TeamTennis (WTT) champions and the only team in league history to go undefeated through the regular season and playoffs. The Kastles' fifth season will again be led by 27-time Grand Slam tournament winner Serena Williams and 21-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams. Throughout the season, the Kastles bring world-class tennis to Washington, D.C., and actively work with local charities and community organizations to make tennis accessible to everyone in the greater national capital area. To learn more about the Kastles, visit www.washingtonkastles.com.
About WTT presented by GEICO
World TeamTennis (WTT) presented by GEICO showcases the best in professional team tennis with the innovative coed team format co-founded by Billie Jean King in the 1970s. WTT has featured dozens of Grand Slam champions over the league's past 36 seasons. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis. WTT and the USTA are teaming up on a number of initiatives, including development of the youth market through junior team tennis programs. For more information on WTT, visit www.WTT.com.
SOURCE Washington Kastles