Preview: Mylan WTT at Wimbledon
June 24, 2016
Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO is well represented in London, with more than 30 League players set to compete at the third Grand Slam event of the year, Wimbledon.
One player who is sure to take center stage is New York Empire rookie Guido Pella, who has drawn No. 3 seed Roger Federer. Pella, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of No. 39 earlier this season, has never played the seven-time former champion before. The two are scheduled to take the court on Monday.
Top-ranked American male John Isner of the Springfield Lasers also faces an intriguing opener, as he is set to square off against the charismatic Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, a former semifinalist at The All England Club. Isner, best known for winning an 11-hour plus epic over Nicolas Mahut at the event in 2010, is bidding to get past the third round for the first time in eight attempts. He is 6-0 lifetime against Baghdatis.
On Friday, Dennis Novikov (Orange County Breakers) and Lukas Lacko (Philadelphia Freedoms) each prevailed in four sets to clinch berths into the main draw after winning their qualifying matches. For Novikov, it will be his first main draw appearance at The Championships. Novikov and Lacko join British hopeful Daniel Evans (San Diego Aviators), German veteran Benjamin Becker (Springfield Lasers) and a trio of Americans, Sam Querrey (Washington Kastles), Steve Johnson (Orange County Breakers) and Donald Young (Philadelphia Freedoms).
On the women’s side, a number of Mylan WTT stars are involved in intriguing first-round clashes. Should Christina McHale (New York Empire) get past Daniela Hantuchova, the New Jersey native could meet reigning champion and world No. 1 Serena Williams in an all-American contest. Caroline Wozniacki (Philadelphia Freedoms), who triumphed in the junior event 10 years ago, is also in the same quarter as McHale, drawing two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova (No. 13 seed).
On the flip side of the draw, if Orange County Breakers standout Nicole Gibbs gets past semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens in the first round, she may find herself up against countrywoman Madison Keys, the No. 9 seed, in the second round. The darling of Roland Garros, Shelby Rogers, is up against stiff completion as well. In her opener, the San Diego Aviators newcomer meets 2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki, who has a knack of finding her form on the lawns of SW19. Also featuring in the women’s draw are Philadelphia Freedoms teammates Daria Kasatkina and Naomi Broady, Madison Brengle of the Washington Kastles and rising Australian Daria Gavrilova (Springfield Lasers).
The doubles draws were also conducted Friday. Leading the way are the world’s top-ranked doubles team and defending Wimbledon champions, Martina Hingis (Washington Kastles) and Sania Mirza.. The two are looking to bounce back from early exits at Roland Garros and Nottingham, and play German duo Anna-Lena Griedsam and Laura Siegemund in their title defense opener. Darija Jurak (San Diego Aviators) and Anastasia Rodionova (Washington Kastles) along with Gavrilova and Kasatkina, feature as Mylan WTT tandems. McHale, Brengle, Gibbs, Maria Irigoyen (New York Empire), Michaella Krajicek (Springfield Lasers) and 2015 Mylan WTT Female Rookie of the Year Alla Kudryavtseva (Orange County Breakers) are also entered in the event.
Bob and Mike Bryan (Washington Kastles), the second-seeded gentlemen’s doubles team, bid for their first major trophy of the season after coming up just short in Paris. The 16-time Grand Slam champions begin their campaign against Inigo Cervantes and Paolo Lorenzi. Lurking in their section of the draw are compatriots Johnson and Querrey, who knocked the Bryans out of the 2015 US Open. Past title holders Daniel Nestor (Springfield Lasers) and Leander Paes (Washington Kastles) also look to add to their trophy haul, while Evans, Pella, Young, Raven Klaasen (San Diego Aviators), Scott Lipsky (Orange County Breakers) and Mylan WTT pair Oliver Marach (New York Empire) and Fabrice Martin (Philadelphia Freedoms), seek a major breakthrough.