72 Hours in Mylan WTT: July 18
YESTERDAY (July 17)
Philadelphia Freedoms d. Washington Kastles, 22-15 (OT)
The Philadelphia Freedoms picked up their first win against the Washington Kastles in three tries this season with a dominating performance on Thursday night. The Kastles' first loss to a conference opponent this season came in stunning fashion, as the home squad was in command following the first three events. Marcelo Melo and Liezel Huber showed why the Freedoms lead the league in mixed doubles, as they continued their run of dominating play to dispatch Venus Williams and Leander Paes, 5-3. From there, the Freedoms ran off eight consecutive games over two sets to firmly take control of the match; Taylor Townsend dropped just three points in defeating Venus Williams and her substitute Anastasia Rodionova, 5-0, and Frank Dancevic's 3-0 lead stood up in his 5-2 defeat of Bobby Reynolds. The Kastles did their best to fight back, taking the women's and men's doubles to force Overtime, but Dancevic punctuated the final game with an ace as he and Melo claimed the big win.
Springfield Lasers d. San Diego Aviators, 19-18 (7-2 Supertiebreaker)
In a match with big implications for the Western Conference, the Springfield Lasers rallied for a dramatic win over the San Diego Aviators on Thursday night. After securing the opening set in men's doubles, the Lasers found themselves down 12-8 at halftime thanks in large part to a 5-0 win by Daniela Hantuchova and Kveta Peschke in women's doubles. However, the defending Western Conference champions weren't done yet, as Olga Govortsova stepped up to defeat Hantuchova in singles, 5-3, and send the match to the Lasers' key man: Michael Russell. Russell, the No. 1 overall men's singles player in the league this season, came back from a break down twice in the early stages against Somdev Devvarman, and knotted the match score at 18-18 behind a 5-3 win. Russell saved five match points to defeat Alex Bogomolov and the Texas Wild in a 7-6 Supertiebreaker on July 12 and proved to be the Supertiebreaker hero for Springfield yet again. He was in command from the start against Devvarman, as the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft couldn't sustain any momentum against the league's leader. When all was said and done, Russell came away with a 7-2 win.
Austin Aces d. Texas Wild, 23-22 (7-4 Supertiebreaker)
Both Western Conference battles were decided by Supertiebreakers on Thursday, but the Austin Aces claimed by far the most dramatic win of the night. In a match that featured four tiebreak sets in regulation, the Aces found themselves in the lead ... until they weren't. Two 5-4 tiebreaks in men's singles and women's doubles put the Aces up 10-8, but a 5-2 win by Aisam Qureshi and Alex Bogomolov put the Wild up 13-12 at halftime. Two more tiebreak sets closed out the night, as Anabel Medina Garrigues bested Vera Zvonareva to give the Wild a two-game cushion at 18-16. The match came down to the mixed doubles, and Hrdinova and Treat Huey played heroes for the visiting team. Rallying from a break down, they forced the Supertiebreaker with another 5-4 set win. Hrdinova ranks No. 4 in the league individually in mixed doubles, and she and Huey completed the comeback for Austin a short time later with the 7-4 win.
TODAY (July 18)
Live Stream of the Day – Texas Wild @ Austin Aces – 8:30 PM EDT
The second chapter of this Texas tussle moves to Austin, as Andy Roddick and Marion Bartoli return to the Aces lineup. After the Aces pulled out a win in Irving for their first road win of the season last night, Roddick's hometown team looks to bring the momentum back to the Cedar Park Center.
Boston Lobsters @ Philadelphia Freedoms – 7:00 PM EDT
Looking to extend their winning streak to four matches, the Philadelphia Freedoms welcome the Boston Lobsters to town to close out their first series of home contests. The Freedoms and Lobsters have yet to face off this year, and they'll meet twice more in the final four days of the regular season.
Washington Kastles @ Springfield Lasers – 8:00 PM EDT
Looking to rebound from just their second loss of the year, the Washington Kastles head west to take on a confident Springfield Lasers squad. The Kastles and Lasers will be meeting for the first time since Washington recorded a 25-12 win to claim last season's King Trophy, but Springfield's lineup is riding high following a Supertiebreaker defeat of the Aviators, and looks a lot different than it did a season ago. A tight contest could be on the cards, as the two teams rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the league in men's singles, and also boast a top-three standing in both women's and mixed doubles.
TOMORROW (July 19)
Live Stream of the Day - Springfield Lasers @ Texas Wild – 8:30 PM EDT
The season series between the Springfield Lasers and Texas Wild will be decided on Friday in Irving. After the Lasers saved five match points to defeat the Wild in Springfield on July 12, the Wild handily defeated them on their home court on July 15.
San Diego Aviators @ Austin Aces – 2:00 PM EDT
The two teams have split the season series, as the Aviators defeated the Aces at home on July 7, but return to the Cedar Park Center looking to wash out the memories of a 20-18 loss in Austin from July 9. A win in women's doubles helped spark an Aces rally in the last match between the two teams, but Daniela Hantuchova and Kveta Peschke have won their last four sets in the discipline for the Aviators.
Washington Kastles @ Boston Lobsters – 6:00 PM EDT
The Eastern Conference leaders travel to Manchester for the second time this season, as the teams face off for the third time overall. The two previous meetings went in favor of the Kastles in contrasting fashion, as they picked up a 24-16 Overtime win on July 7 before recording an overwhelming 25-8 win on July 9. Sharon Fichman will feature in the Lobsters lineup for the first time against Washington this season, as she was forced to miss the first two matches between the two teams with an injury.