Missouri Valley / Missouri

Lasers To Defend WTT Title In West Virginia

Jeff Kessinger | June 23, 2020

For the first time since 1995 there will be no World TeamTennis at Cooper Tennis Complex this July. It’s not all bad news, though.


The Springfield Lasers will be defending their back-to-back WTT championships at the historic Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The league’s nine teams will play all 66 matches of the 2020 season at The Greenbrier.


“It’s a great site,” Lasers General Manager Paul Nahon said. “It has the capacity to host all the teams, they have medical facilities on site and can do [COVID-19] testing. I’ve driven past it four or five times, but I’ve never gone in. I’m excited to see it.”


Fans who can’t make the 840-mile drive to the Mountain State will still be able to keep an eye on the Lasers this season.


“Every single match will be telecast, so one way or another our fans will have an opportunity to watch the Lasers this season,” Nahon said.


The broadcast schedule is not finalized, but WTT has ensured every match will be televised or live-streamed on one of five platforms: CBS, CBS Sports Network, Tennis Channel, ESPN+ and WTT.com. Mediacom will broadcast all but two of Springfield’s matches this season.


Lasers fans could also have other options to gather together and watch the team play.


“We’re looking at maybe doing a small event on opening day,” Nahon said. “The league is also looking at some Zoom and social media things. We’re looking at several options and hope to have quite a few opportunities to see the team and interact with the fans.”


Springfield will play the Orlando Storm in the first match of the WTT season, at 11:30 a.m. on July 12. The league will play at least three matches every day at The Greenbrier’s 2,500-seat outdoor stadium. An indoor court will be installed as a backup option.


“We’re the first match out of the gate. We’re the defending champions and they’ll broadcast us to open the season,” Nahon said. “The league is also going to honor the Lasers for winning the 2019 championship.”


WTT will be following state guidelines and allowing up to 500 fans to attend each match. They will also adhere to all health and safety protocols set forth by Center for Disease Control to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and essential staff.


“The overwhelming feedback from our players is that they want to play WTT and are comfortable in doing so in a safe environment, which is our No. 1 priority,” WTT CEO Carlos Silva said in a press release. “West Virginia has among the nation’s fewest cases of COVID-19 and I’m grateful to The Greenbrier, the city of White Sulphur Springs, and Dr. Jill Justice for being so welcoming and allowing World TeamTennis to play on in 2020.”


The Lasers, coached by JL de Jager, have officially announced their roster for the season and it features some familiar faces. Olga Govortsova, Robert Lindstedt and Jean-Julien Rojer all return from last year’s championship squad. This will be Rojer’s fourth season with the Lasers.


“It’s great to have veterans like Olga, who helped carry us to the championship,” Nahon said. “Rojer and Lindstedt will play the whole season as a doubles team, which is a big plus.”


That trio will be joined by newcomers Hayley Carter, Mitchell Krueger and Caty McNally.


“Krueger is an up-and-comer. He was climbing the ladder before COVID-19 hit,” Nahon said. “Carter is ranked 44th in the world in doubles and helped coach at Oklahoma for a while. McNally is a strong singles and doubles player. This is a well-rounded team.”


Springfield Lasers 2020 Schedule


July 12 vs. Orlando Storm, 11:30 a.m.

July 14 vs. Philadelphia Freedoms, 6:00 p.m.

July 16 vs. Washington Kastles, 2:00 p.m.

July 17 vs. Vegas Rollers, 2:30 p.m.

July 18 vs. Philadelphia Freedoms, 3:00 p.m.

July 19 vs. New York Empire, 7:00 p.m.

July 21 vs. New York Empire, 11:00 a.m.

July 22 vs. Chicago Smash, 2:00 p.m.

July 23 vs. San Diego Aviators, 10:00 a.m.

July 25 vs. Orange County Breakers, 11:00 a.m.

July 26 vs. Orlando Storm, 8:00 a.m.

July 27 vs. Vegas Rollers, 2:00 p.m.

July 28 vs. Washington Kastles, 10:00 a.m.

July 30 vs. Orange County Breakers, 11:00 a.m.

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