World TeamTennis franchise
Ashley Marshall | March 5, 2019
The USTA National Campus in Orlando will host one of two new World TeamTennis (WTT) franchises set to take the court this summer.
The Orlando Storm and Vegas Rollers were introduced on Tuesday, joining the six current teams that will compete in the 2019 season, which begins in July.
"We could not be more excited to have the Orlando Storm call the USTA National Campus home. Since we opened our doors, we have looked at ways to bring new fans and players to the Campus and introduce them to the sport of tennis,” said Chief Executive, USTA National Campus Kurt Kamperman.
“Showcasing World TeamTennis is a great vehicle to do just that. Orlando fans really support their local teams, and we are looking forward to building that same type of fan base at the Campus.”
Jocelyn Davie will serve as the Orlando Storm’s inaugural general manager, and the team will be coached by former ATP Tour player Scott Lipsky.
“The expansion of World TeamTennis is great for the sport, and I am excited to bring a team to Orlando,” Davie said.
“With the support of the league and the USTA National Campus serving as our home court, we will put together a strong team, and I cannot wait to see fans cheering on the Orlando Storm.”
Both the Storm and the Rollers will begin to fill out their squads at the WTT Draft on March 12 in Indian Wells, Calif.
WTT introduced professional team tennis to the world in 1974, with Billie Jean King famously serving as its co-founder. The new teams in Orlando and Las Vegas join the league’s existing franchises—New York Empire, Orange County Breakers, Philadelphia Freedoms, San Diego Aviators, Springfield Lasers and Washington Kastles.
The WTT season consists of seven home matches and seven away matches for each team and will run from July 14-31. The semifinals and final will be held in Las Vegas, Aug. 2-3.
Orlando will host Las Vegas to kick off the regular season on July 14. Its other home matches are against Orange County on July 15, San Diego on July 17, Philadelphia on July 18, Washington on July 24, Springfield on July 26 and New York on July 27.
“With the success that the USTA National Campus has had in Lake Nona the past two years, it made perfect sense for World TeamTennis to expand to the Orlando area,” said WTT CEO Carlos Silva. “Orlando is a great sports city, and we are excited to bring our high-level brand of professional team tennis to this growing market.”
Added King: “The addition of two new teams in two strong markets is a positive move for WTT for 2019 and for the future. This expansion is not only good for the league, it also is another indication of the importance of bringing our brand of tennis to new audiences and our commitment to growing the sport at all levels.”