Sunday in the lovely town of Springfield, Mo. they will play host to the World Team Tennis Championship which can be seen live on ESPN3 at 5:00 p.m. ET with ESPN2 joining the live coverage at 6:00 p.m. ET.
The Eastern Conference Champion Washington Kastles who are going for their fourth straight Billy Jean King WTT Championship Cup face the Springfield Lasers who won the Western Conference title by upsetting San Diego on Thursday night.
Washington is led by last year’s WTT Most Valuable Player Martina Hingis. The Hall of Famer won five Grand Slam singles titles (three Australian Opens, one Wimbledon, and one US Open). Hingis also won nine Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, winning a calendar-year doubles Grand Slam in 1998, and one Grand Slam mixed doubles title.
This is a rematch of last year’s finals as the Kastles defeated the Lasers 25-12. Springfield has never won the WTT title, while finishing second four times.
Washington comes into this final with the exact same team that has won the last three WTT Championships. Meanwhile, a season that started with three straight losses and season-ending injuries to three of their four roster players is ending in an improbable trip to the finals for Springfield.
WTT vets Bobby Reynolds and Leander Paes have teamed with Anastasia Rodionova to make up the core of the Kastles team. Stars like Hingis and Venus Williams have kept the team’s reputation for winning in tack.
Springfield enters the finals with a spunky group of players that have over achieved this season. Michael Russell, Liga Dekmeijere-Thomas, Olga Govortsova, and Ross Hutchins are far from household names even in the tennis world, however they found a way to return to the Championship and will have home court advantage.
What remains to be seen is if spunk will overcome talent and if playing together for three straight season will help Washington’s team bring home a fourth straight WTT title.