Wild edge Sportimes on Randall's Island
Rain showering down on Randall's Island forced the New York Sportimes and Texas Wild clash indoors, but the players still brought the fireworks in New York City on Monday night.
Hall of Famers and New York City residents John McEnroe and Jim Courier squared off in singles with McEnroe prevailing in a tie breaker, but the Wild answered the call when it mattered most, scoring a 22-20 overtime victory to secure their spot in the WTT Western Conference playoffs.
An enthusiastic crowd, including former New York City mayor David Dinkins and USTA General Manager of Player Development Patrick McEnroe were on hand as the Wild's Alex Bogomolov Jr. and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi opened with a 5-2 victory over Robert Kendrick and John McEnroe.
McEnroe entertained the audience by questioning calls and making brief scenes throughout the set—this went on for the whole match.
“McEnroe doesn’t like losing” a young bystander giggled at McEnroe’s antics.
Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who upset Ana Ivanovic at Wimbledon, played extremely aggressive tennis, ripping winners, to defeat the Sportimes Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 5-2, in women's singles.
The men’s singles pitted Hall of Famers—and former World No. 1 players—McEnroe and Courier. They each held serve until McEnroe was able to break at 4-3, but instead Courier slapped a winner down the line at deuce to send the set into a tiebreaker—and McEnroe threw his racquet at the curtain in frustration. As the set grew tighter in the tiebreaker the lets began to exasperate Courier as McEnroe’s serve, dropping just over the net, gave him a “free point."
“That wouldn’t have happened if my name was on the building,” Courier joked. Fueled by his premium energy drink—Coca Cola—McEnroe showed his attacking skills in pulling out a tight, 5-4 win.
Darija Jurak and Qureshi edged Kveta Peschke and McEnroe in mixed doubles, 5-4, to put the Wild firmly in front. But Groenefeld and Peschke stormed to a 5-2 victory in women's doubles over Bouchard and Jurakto push the match into overtime. The intensity increased with each passing point—each player attacked and each team had it's share of line-call disputes—but ultimately the Wild prevailed in an exceptionally-intimate and highly-entertaining match.