YESTERDAY (JULY 23):
Mylan Aces: Sacramento Capitals/New York Sportimes (7)
Charities Selected: Assistance in Healthcare / Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA); Johnny Mac Tennis Project
Washington Kastles d. NEW YORK SPORTIMES 23-15 (OT)
The Washington Kastles are one match away from finishing their regular season with the best winning percentage of all eight teams, edging the New York Sportimes at their Randall’s Island venue. Fighting through intermittent rain, the Kastles stormed through the opening four sets before Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke upset Hall of Famer and WTA comeback kid Martina Hingis and Anastasia Rodionova to force an overtime. From there, Hingis and Rodionova recovered to stave off the Sportimes, who remain in contention for a spot in the Conference Championships.
Boston Lobsters d. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS 22-18
The three-team race for the Conference Championships was narrowed to two last night as the Boston Lobsters effectively eliminated the Philadelphia Freedoms from regular season play with a 22-18 decision. Sam Groth opened with a win for Philly, but the team hampered by injuries was unable to capitalize on that early momentum. The Lobsters took two tight sets of men’s and women’s doubles that ultimately made the difference, with doubles specialist Eric Butorac helping to lead Boston to their fifth win of the 2013 season.
SPRINGFIELD LASERS d. Sacramento Capitals 22-17
The Springfield Lasers clinched the No. 1 seed in the West with an emphatic win over the Sacramento Capitals, who have been playing well as the 2013 season comes to a close. Sacramento’s Sam Querrey suffered an early upset to begin play, the top American losing 5-2 to Springfield’s Rik de Voest. The young and talented Taylor Townsend scored the lone set win for Sacramento, defeating former top 20 player and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor Alisa Kleybanova, but Kleybanova ended the night on top, pairing with doubles Grand Slam winner Vania King to defeat Townsend and Megan Moulton-Levy 5-3.
TODAY (JULY 24):
Live Stream of the Day
New York Sportimes @ PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS 7:00 PM EDT
The Sportimes face a must-win match against the Philadelphia Freedoms to remain in contention for the Conference Championships. The New York team has been in good form and suffered little of the bad luck faced by Philadelphia throughout the season. Injuries and accidents knocked out Victoria Duval and Liezel Huber, who had contributed to a mid-season revival for Billie Jean King’s signature team over the weekend. The up-and-coming Sachia Vickery and Brooke Austin will be up against it when playing Kveta Peschke and Anna-Lena Groenefeld of the Sportimes, but the big-serving Sam Groth could turn things around for the Freedoms, who look to play spoiler to the Sportimes Championship dreams.
Springfield Lasers @ ORANGE COUNTY BREAKERS 7:00 PM PDT
The Springfield Lasers have already clinched their birth into the Conference Championships, but will still be eager to end the regular season on a high note against the Orange County Breakers. Once in contention for the Championships Weekend, the Breakers fell behind in the last few matches, failing to maintain their four match winning streak heading into last weekend.
Boston Lobsters @ WASHINGTON KASTLES 7:10 PM EDT
The Lobsters have a tough task if they want to make it into the Conference Championships, as they must defeat the Kastles, or rely on the Freedoms to upset New York. The Kastles have had a third consecutive successful season led by Martina Hingis, 2012 Male MVP Bobby Reynolds and multiple Grand Slam doubles champion, Leander Paes. Like Springfield, the top team in the East will be looking to end the season with the momentum, especially considering that they may play Boston again tomorrow in the Conference Championships.
The Capitals have redeemed themselves with a successful last week and a half; after snapping their seven-consecutive match losing streak, the Sacramento team conquered the Orange County Breakers two days in a row to regain form and confidence. The Texas Wild are the No. 2 team in the West, and will be looking to snap up some extra confidence heading into tomorrow’s battle with the Springfield Lasers. Look for the all-youth encounter between Taylor Townsend and Eugenie Bouchard as a potential highlight match.
TOMORROW (JULY 25):
Texas Wild @ SPRINGFIELD LASERS 7:05 PM CDT
The top two teams in the Western Conference (and the only two teams to defeat the Washington Kastles since 2010) face off for a spot in the Finals Weekend. After getting off to the best possible start with former No. 1 Andy Roddick by their side, the Springfield Lasers have more than held their own against the field, handing the Washington Kastles their first home loss in three years. Texas Wild have been equally successful; as the team to end the Kastles’ historic streak, the Wild kick-started their season and used their team chemistry to pull off win after win. Either victor will be a worthy final opponent for the winner of the Eastern Conference Championships.
Boston Lobsters OR New York Sportimes @ WASHINGTON KASTLES 7:10 PM EDT
The Washington Kastles have beaten both Boston and New York already this week, and the two teams will battle it out today for a chance at redemption against the most dominant U.S. major pro sports team in history, compiling a 34-match winning streak from 2011 to the beginning of the 2013 season. Even with two losses, the Kastles have amassed an impressive record this season, and have been undefeated against either potential opponent (both Kastles conquerors hail from the Western Conference). Both Boston and New York have been playing well as the regular season comes to a close; New York needs to defeat Philadelphia and Washington needs to defeat Boston to clinch. Boston can lose to Washington and still make the Championships should Philadelphia pull off the upset over New York. Either way, it’s a nail-biter of an ending to the 2013 season.