Leander Paes helped lead the Washington Kastles to a fourth consecutive Mylan WTT final.
© Austin Smith/Washington Kastles
By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com
The Washington Kastles and Springfield Lasers both advanced to the Mylan WTT finals on Thursday, setting up a rematch from last year’s final.
The Kastles, who will now look to win the King Trophy for a fourth consecutive year, claimed their fourth straight Mylan WTT Eastern Conference championship by defeating the Philadelphia Freedoms. 21-16. Martina Hingis played a crucial role by securing a 5-2 victory in women’s doubles (with Anastasia Rodionova) and 5-1 win in mixed doubles (with Leander Paes).
However, the doubles victory over Taylor Townsend and Liezel Huber was marred slightly after Townsend accidentally hit Huber in the back of the head with a forehand. With Huber unable to return to the court, Townsend was forced to play alone and couldn’t return a serve on her partner’s side. Hingis and Rodionova took advantage of the opportunity and easily won the final four games of the match.
Paes and Bobby Reynolds, who is retiring from pro tennis after this year’s Mylan WTT final, prevailed in overtime in the final match of the night against Melo and Frank Dancevic. A member of the Kastles for the last five seasons, Reynolds was WTT’s male rookie of the year in 2010 and the league’s MVP in 2012.
Meanwhile, the Lasers clinched the Mylan WTT Western Conference championship by beating the San Diego Aviators, 22-17. Olga Govortsova switched the momentum of the match by defeating Daniela Hantuchova, 5-0, giving the Lasers a 17-14. Michael Russell and Ross Hutchins then pulled off a huge upset over the world No. 1 doubles team, Bob and Mike Bryan, winning 5-3 to secure their team's place in the finals.
The Lasers will host the Kastles on Sunday, July 27, at 4 p.m. CT, at Mediacom Stadium at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield, Mo.