The Washington Kastles continue to stake their claim as the team to beat in Mylan World TeamTennis.
For the third successive match, the Kastles swept all five sets they played to dismiss the Austin Aces 25-10 en route to their 17th consecutive win. With their victory on Friday evening, the three-time defending champions improved to 5-0 on the season.
In any sport, momentum is a driving force, and it takes center stage in Mylan WTT with the league’s quick-paced format. After longtime Kastles star Bobby Reynolds defeated Andy Roddick 5-3 in men’s singles, Roddick regrouped alongside Treat Huey to fire up the home crowd in an exciting men’s doubles set that went down to the wire.
Facing Reynolds and Leander Paes, the Aces duo led the veteran Kastles pair 3-2 in the decisive nine-point tiebreaker, but was unable to capitalize on the window of opportunity. With a winner-take-all set point on the line, Paes stepped up against Huey’s serve to clinch the set 5-4.
Huey stayed in for the mixed doubles set with Vera Zvonareva, but immediately dropped his serve. Two-time reigning Mylan WTT Female MVP Martina Hingis, who took the court for the first time, sucked nearly every ounce of energy out of the Cedar Park Center after hitting an ace on a three-all point for a 3-1 lead. From there, the Kastles never looked back, piling on 12 of the final 14 games.
“At the end of the day, we all have individual jobs to do but we come out and play as a team,” said Paes. “The chemistry is what we look to concentrate on. That's the motto of our team - refuse to lose.”
Hingis is well on her way to earning MVP honors once again. The Swiss has won 45 of the 56 games she has played across women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles thus far. In the team league leader standings, the Kastles top the list in four of the five disciplines and are ranked second in men's doubles.
Will another team find a way to solve the Kastles riddle before it’s too late? As Mylan WTT co-founder Billie Jean King says, pressure is a privilege. The Kastles are certainly rising to the occasion of being the hunted.