Mylan WTT Finals Preview: Lasers vs. Kastles

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Washington's Leander Paes and Bobby Reynolds are one match from their third consecutive King Trophy; can they close? (Photo: CameraWorkUSA)

2013 MYLAN WTT FINALS presented by GEICO
Springfield Lasers (10-5) vs. #1 WASHINGTON KASTLES (13-2)

July 28, 5:00 p.m ET -- Kastles Stadium at The Wharf

Ticket information available at Ticketmaster
Live Stream:  July 28 - 5:00 p.m. ET -

Airs live on Comcast Mid-Atlantic and Mediacom.  Tape delayed telecast on Tennis Channel, airing Monday, July 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET.  Check for other airtimes on regional cable networks.


KASTLES vs. LASERS:  How they fared in the regular season: 
The Washington Kastles and the Springfield Lasers faced off twice during the regular season. One day after the Kastles’ 34-match winning streak was snapped by the Texas Wild, the Lasers handed Washington their first at-home loss since 2010 on July 11. Six days later, the two teams met again with 2013 Mylan WTT Female MVP Martina Hingis headlining the Kastles squad and got their revenge against the Lasers. The Kastles and Lasers were the  leaders in their respective Conferences and were the No. 1 seeds ahead of their Championship victories. Combined, the two teams feature four of the five Mylan WTT Award winners, including Male MVP Jean-Julien Rojer (Lasers), Female MVP Martina Hingis (Kastles), Female Rookie of the Year Alisa Kleybanova (Lasers) and Coach of the Year Murphy Jensen (Kastles).
For the most part, both teams cruised in their respective Conference Championships, with the Springfield Lasers ousting Texas Wild 25-9 and the Washington Kastles defeating the Boston Lobsters 25-12 (OT).
TEAM RANKINGS (regular season):
Men’s Singles: Lasers – 7th, Kastles – 1st             
Women’s Singles: Lasers – 6th, Kastles – 1st
Men’s Doubles: Lasers – 1st, Kastles – 3rd      
Women’s Doubles: Lasers – 2nd Kastles – 4th
Mixed Doubles: Lasers – 2nd, Kastles – 1st
Springfield Lasers:  0 (runner-ups in 1999, 2001 and 2009)
Washington Kastles:  3 - 2009, 2011, 2012
Leander Paes (WAS): 3 - 2009, 2011, 2012 (w/Washington)
Bobby Reynolds (WAS): 2 - 2011, 2012 (w/Washington)
Martina Hingis (WAS): 1 - 2005 (w/New York Sportimes)
Arina Rodionova (WAS): 2 - 2011, 2012 (w/Washington)
Murphy Jensen (WAS coach): 3 - 2009, 2011, 2012 (all w/Washington)
John Laffnie de Jager (SPR coach): 1 - 1994 (w/New Jersey Stars as a player)
(Note: Not in set order; top-seeded team determines set order 1 hour in advance of match)
Men’s Singles – Rik de Voest / Andy Roddick (Lasers) vs. Bobby Reynolds (Kastles)
2012 Mylan WTT Male MVP Bobby Reynolds of Washington may take on Springfield’s Rik de Voest in a rematch of their July 17 match where Reynolds defeated de Voest 5-1. On the ATP and ITF Tours, de Voest has never lost to Reynolds in five matches, but the South African could find no answer to the American’s powerful serve and ground game. Thursday night De Voest had an emphatic win over Texas Wild’s Alex Bogomolov Jr. en route to Springfield’s win over Texas, and will likely be feeling confident ahead of the Mylan WTT Finals. Coach John-Laffnie de Jager could also decide to go with former world No. 1 Andy Roddick, who is returning to the Lasers lineup to play the Mylan WTT. Roddick helped get the team off to the best possible start with several wins early in the first week and could be in the mix for men’s singles.
Women’s Singles – Alisa Kleybanova (Lasers) vs. Martina Hingis (Kastles)
Former top 20 player and cancer survivor Alisa Kleybanova has been getting better and better as the Mylan WTT season has played out. Starting out as the Lasers’ resident women’s doubles and mixed player, the Russian has transitioned into the team’s standout player, adding women’s singles to her resumé and ended Thursday night’s victory over the Texas Wild with two consecutive 5-1 wins, including one over rising Canadian star, Eugenie Bouchard. 2013 International Tennis Hall of Fame Inductee and recently announced WTA comeback kid Martina Hingis has been consistent from start to finish this season, capping off her successful summer with a 5-1 win in women’s doubles and 5-2 in singles over Boston’s Jill Craybas. In a battle between Kleybanova’s power and Hingis’ finesse, it should be an entertaining set of tennis.
Men’s Doubles – Rik de Voest/Andy Roddick/Jean-Julien Rojer (Lasers) vs. Bobby Reynolds/Leader Paes (Kastles)
In their two regular season matches, Springfield went 2-0 in men’s doubles sets, with de Voest and top 20 doubles player Jean-Julien Rojer taking out Reynolds and multiple Grand Slam doubles Champion Leander Paes 5-3 in their last match. Each team is anchored by a stellar doubles player; Rojer won the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Miami with partner (and Texas Wild competitor) Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi earlier this year, while Paes is coming off a semifinal showing at Wimbledon with Radek Stepanek. Lasers marquee and part-Mylan WTT owner Roddick may also be in the mix for men’s doubles.
Women’s Doubles – Alisa Kleybanova/Vania King (Lasers) vs. Martina Hingis/Anastasia Rodionova (Kastles)
Hingis and partner Anastasia Rodionova displayed ruthless efficiency in their win over Jill Craybas and Katalin Marosi Thursday night. Attacking serve returns and volleying with aplomb, the Kastles’ women’s doubles team sports few weaknesses heading into the Mylan WTT Finals.  There, they will take on the No. 2 women’s doubles team in the league, which features Kleybanova and 2010 Wimbledon and US Open doubles champion Vania King. The two teams balance each other out well, and it should be a closely-fought affair.
Mixed Doubles –Alisa Kleybanova/Jean-Julien Rojer (Lasers) vs. Martina Hingis/Leander Paes (Kastles)
The Lasers and Kastles split their mixed doubles sets in the regular season, with the Kastles taking a 5-2 decision to end their July 17 match. Hingis and Paes are statistically the two best mixed doubles players in the league, but Kleybanova and Rojer aren’t too far behind as they round out the top five overall. The powerful Russian Kleybanova will not be bullied around a mixed doubles court, and Hingis’ comparative lack of firepower will force her to make use of all of her variety to help take another very important set.
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