2013 Mylan WTT Preview: Boston Lobsters
2012 Record: 5-9 (3rd in the East)
Owners: Bahar Uttam, Joe Matarese
Key Additions: Mark Philippoussis
Key Losses: Irina Falconi
Returners: Eric Butorac
Coach: Bud Schultz
After a lackluster 2012 campaign that saw them lose before the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in the last three years, the Boston Lobsters have completely revamped their team ahead of the 2013 season. Leading the charge will be two-time Grand Slam finalist Mark Philippoussis
Philippoussis will be playing his fifth season of Mylan WTT, but his first with the Lobsters. Despite a career plagued by injuries, the big-serving Australian won 11 singles titles, peaked in the top 10 of the ATP World Tour rankings, and led his country to Davis Cup glory in 1999 and 2003.
The sole returnee for the Lobsters is one of America's top doubles players, Eric Butorac. This is Butorac’s fourth year with the Lobsters. He is ranked No. 51 in doubles on the ATP Tour. The lefty has won 13 ATP doubles titles and could be a difference maker as the Lobsters, like the rest of the teams, try to close the gap between them and Washington.
Taking the women’s doubles reins will be a WTA Tour doubles specialist in Hungary’s Katalin Marosi. With regular partner (and Western Conference opponent) Darija Jurak, the veteran will make her Mylan WTT debut not too far from her career high WTA doubles ranking of No. 33 (May 2013). The Hungarian has already made two WTA Tour Premier semifinals at Stuttgart and Sydney, and will hope to bring her good form into the Mylan WTT season.
Jill Craybas and Amir Weintraub round out the “re-clawed” Lobsters. An American veteran, Craybas has been a mainstay in the top 100 for several years, peaking at No. 39 in 2006. Weintraub is an Israeli National Champion, who is playing his second Mylan WTT season. Weintraub played for the Springfield Lasers in 2012. Head coach Bud Schultz is optimistic that this new line-up will bode well coming into the 2013 season.
“We're laden with veteran talent that will know how to bring good strategies and apply tactics night in and night out," said Schultz. "One of our advantages will be having four well rounded, genuinely nice people being there for each other for support and encouragement.”
The Lobsters have improved their depth and are set to make another run at the Mylan WTT Finals, but the daunting task of overcoming Washington and their longtime rivals, the New York Sportimes. “We always seem to have very tight matches with a high emotional context. For whatever reason there always seems to be disdain towards each other, regardless of the sport!”
The question for this year's Lobsters squad is will their talent and experience be enough to rebound from a disappointing 2012 campaign to bring home the first League title for Boston.