NEW YORK, N.Y. (July 25, 2013) – Former world No. 1 Martina Hingis of the Washington Kastles and top 20 doubles specialist Jean-Julien Rojer of the Springfield Lasers were named as the Mylan World TeamTennis MVPs today.
Steve Johnson of the Orange County Breakers and Alisa Kleybanova of the Springfield Lasers were named as Mylan WTT Rookies of the Year, while Murphy Jensen of the Washington Kastles was named Mylan WTT Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season.
The Kastles and the Lasers are both the top seeds in their respective conferences at the Mylan WTT Conference Championships presented by GEICO on July 25. The Lasers will face the Texas Wild, while the Kastles and Lobsters will play for the Eastern Conference title. The Conference Champions face off for the King Trophy on Sunday, July 28 at 5:00 PM EDT on the home court of the Eastern Conference Champion. For more information on the Mylan WTT Finals presented by GEICO, visit WTT.com/Finals.
MYLAN WTT FEMALE MVP: Martina Hingis, Washington Kastles
Hingis wins the Female MVP for the second consecutive season, finishing first in women's singles this season with a .700 winning percentage, up more than 10 percent from last season. Hingis teamed with Leander Paes to finish as the top-ranked team in mixed doubles at .595 and .591, respectively. The Kastles remain undefeated when the five-time Grand Slam singles champion headlines their squad. This is the 6th season for Hingis, who is playing her first season with the Washington Kastles and plans to make a return to the WTA Tour in doubles later this summer. Hingis and her Kastles teammates have advanced to the Mylan WTT Eastern Conference Championship against the Boston Lobsters on Thursday, July 25.
"It's great playing Mylan World TeamTennis again this year and I'm flattered to have such great partners," said Hingis. "Being on the best team definitely makes it easier to win MVP. Refuse to lose!"
MYLAN WTT MALE MVP: Jean-Julien Rojer, Springfield Lasers
Rojer finished his second regular season of Mylan WTT with an impressive 66-45 record in men’s doubles and 60-53 in mixed doubles, compiling a .563 winning percentage over the two disciplines. Rojer showed his versatility, playing with partners including former No. 1 Andy Roddick, former top 20 player and 2013 Mylan WTT Rookie of the Year Alisa Kleybanova, and Rik de Voest. In his debut 2011 season, Rojer was Rookie of the Year as he helped lead the St. Louis Aces to the Western Conference Championships and a run to the Finals.
"I'm really excited to win MVP," said Rojer. "This is due in large part to my Springfield Lasers teammates. We are a very close group and get along very well. This is even more special because I have had an opportunity to play with everyone on the team this season. I know this is an individual award but in my eyes it is a team award as everyone on this team has been a part of it."
Rojer also credited the Lasers management and Springfield community for their support. "Everyone here has welcomed me with open arms from our owner John Cooper to all the staff and the fans. They have a great organization here and I am happy to win this award for them."
MYLAN WTT MALE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Steve Johnson, Orange County Breakers
Steve Johnson made a successful debut with the Orange County Breakers. Despite ultimately placing third in the Western Conference, the young American was the No. 2 men’s singles player in the league, amassing a 62-47 record for the season. He was equally successful in men’s doubles, pairing with doubles specialist Treat Huey to go 64-53. In the middle of the season, Johnson helped lead the Breakers to four consecutive victories.
"It was an honor to play my first Mylan World TeamTennis season in Orange County with the Breakers, my hometown team, and being named Rookie of the Year is definitely something special," said Johnson.
MYLAN WTT FEMALE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Alisa Kleybanova, Springfield Lasers
The Springfield Lasers finished as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, large in part to Mylan WTT Female Rookie of the Year, Alisa Kleybanova. The Russian was a top 20 stalwart before a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis derailed her career for over two years. Now cancer-free, Kleybanova is working on a comeback that has seen her cap a successful return with a stellar Mylan WTT debut season. Playing in all three disciplines (singles, women’s doubles and mixed), Kleybanova finished with a spectacular .573 winning percentage for the 2013, and has only improved as the season has wore on.
“I am very happy to receive this award," said Kleybanova. "My first season of Mylan World TeamTennis has been amazing! I’m hopeful I can play more seasons in the future as it’s been a lot of fun with my teammates.”
MYLAN WTT COACH OF THE YEAR: Murphy Jensen, Washington Kastles
For the third year in a row, Murphy Jensen was named WTT Coach of the Year. He led the Kastles to their third consecutive Eastern Conference Championships. At the beginning of the season, the Kastles won their 34th consecutive match, breaking the record for consecutive wins held by a U.S. major pro sports team (a record previously held by the 1971-72 LA Lakers). This is Jensen's fifth season coaching the Kastles. He led the franchise to the King Trophy in 2009, 2011, and 2012 and the Kastles are the top seed in the 2013 Eastern Conference finals.
"It's a dream come true," said Jensen. "I dedicate this to my dad Howard Otto Jensen who passed away April 12th. Best coach I've ever known."
2013 MYLAN WTT AWARDS:
MYLAN WTT FEMALE MVP: Martina Hingis (Washington Kastles)
MYLAN WTT MALE MVP: Jean-Julien Rojer (Springfield Lasers)
MYLAN WTT FEMALE ROOKIE: Alisa Kleybanova (Springfield Lasers)
MYLAN WTT MALE ROOKIE: Steve Johnson (Orange County Breakers)
MYLAN WTT COACH OF THE YEAR: Murphy Jensen (Washington Kastles)