2013 Mylan WTT Season: Week One in Review
The stands have been packed for an exciting Week One of Mylan WTT's 38th Season (Photo: Kevin Koski).
King, Kloss & Kastles Meet President Obama
The Washington Kastles were recognized for their 2012 Mylan World TeamTennis Championship season by President Obama during a private meeting in the Oval Office prior to the Kastles' home opener on Monday, July 8. This the first time in the 38-year history of Mylan WTT that the championship team has been invited to the White House. The Kastles, led by Finals MVP Venus Williams, won the 2012 Mylan WTT title with a narrow 20-19 victory over the Sacramento Capitals last September.
Representing the 2012 championship squad at the White House visit were Williams, Male MVP Bobby Reynolds, Leander Paes, Anastasia Rodionova, 2012 Coach of the Year Murphy Jensen and Kastles owner Mark Ein. Mylan WTT co-founder Billie Jean King and CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss also accompanied the Kastles.
Kastles Make U.S. Major Pro Sports History: The Washington Kastles entered the season on the back of consecutive undefeated 16-0 seasons, two King Trophies and a visit with President of the United States Barack Obama at the White House. Eying a shot at history and playing their first two matches at home, the Kastles cruised in wins over the New York Sportimes and Boston Lobsters to surpass the NBA’s 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers for the longest winning streak by a U.S. major pro sports team with 34 successive victories. (Read more)
Wild Home Debut For Texas Thwarts Kastles:
A day after their historic effort, the Washington Kastles were brought down to earth by the League’s newest franchise, the Texas Wild. Making their home debut, the Wild stepped up to the plate to dethrone Washington 23-18 in Irving. It marked the Kastles’ first loss since July 22, 2010. (Read more)
Awesome Alisa Wearing No. 1 Tag Proudly:
Alisa Kleybanova, the 2013 No. 1 overall roster draft pick, is making quite the splash in her first Mylan WTT season with the Springfield Lasers. Kleybanova, who returned to the courts in May after conquering Hodgkin’s lymphoma, has won 70% of her games in women’s doubles with Vania King and 51% in mixed doubles with Jean-Julien Rojer. Her quick transition to the format and rules of Mylan WTT has enabled the Lasers to lead the Western Conference with a 4-2 record. (Flashback: Q&A with Kleybanova)
Mylan WTT Introduces Digital Innovation:
One of the characteristics distinguishing Mylan WTT from other tennis properties is its drive to be inventive. On July 10 in Philadelphia, the League introduced a new digital innovation by having two players live tweet at halftime. Andy Roddick of the Springfield Lasers and Sam Groth of the Philadelphia Freedoms answered questions that used hashtag #MylanAces and the event was integrated into Tennis Channel’s broadcast of the match. (Read more)
Roddick’s Road Trip:
Newly minted Mylan WTT owner Andy Roddick made his return to professional tennis by suiting up for the Springfield Lasers for the first time in his seventh season. Roddick played six matches, over six days, in five different cities. His personality and love for the game shone through, as Springfield’s home match on July 12 sold out in both regular seating and additional bleachers. He also helped the Lasers become the first team to defeat the Washington Kastles at their home venue, The Wharf. (Watch exclusive Roddick interview Part 1; Watch Part 2)
Orange County Brings The Heat
Sacramento Soul Sisters:
Wayne Bryan is known for more than being an exceptional coach and father to Bob and Mike Bryan (Texas Wild). The longtime Sacramento Capitals head coach has the same passion for music as he does tennis and formed a new group, “The Sacramento Soul Sisters”. The trio consists of Caps newcomers Megan-Moulton Levy and Taylor Townsend, and Townsend’s mother Shelia. (Watch their performance; read Moulton Levy’s blog)
Tennis On The Fly:
How do you spend your time during a travel delay? Stuck in Washington and trying to get home for a match against the New York Sportimes, members of the Boston Lobsters pulled out their racquets for an impromptu volley exchange in an airport concourse. (Watch here)