Mylan World TeamTennis kicks off 41st season on July 31 with Forest Hills debut
NEW YORK, N.Y. (July 29, 2016) – The 41st season of Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO will feature a team debut in one of tennis’ most iconic venues, more than 45 hours of live broadcast programming and a diverse lineup of top international tennis talent.
The regular season begins on Sunday, July 31 as the New York Empire host the 2015 champion Washington Kastles in the first Mylan WTT match at Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club. The stadium was the former home to the US Open Championships for six decades.
Six teams will vie for the King Trophy, the league’s championship trophy named after co-founder Billie Jean King, from July 31-August 13. The top two teams from the regular season advance to the Mylan WTT Finals presented by Citi on Friday, August 26 in Forest Hills, N.Y.
Several Olympians will be part of the action on their road to Rio with first-week matches featuring Bob and Mike Bryan (USA – Washington Kastles), Martina Hingis (Switzerland – Washington Kastles), Leander Paes (India – Washington Kastles), Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark – Philadelphia Freedoms), Steve Johnson (USA – Orange County Breakers), Denis Kudla (USA – Washington Kastles) and Guido Pella (Argentina – New York Empire).
ESPN3 will air 15 live broadcasts during the action-packed two week season plus the Championship Finals. The opening night showdown between the Kastles and Empire is the first broadcast on the ESPN3 schedule. Matches will also be rebroadcast on Tennis Channel, Comcast Sportsnet and other partner networks including MSG, Altitude Sports and Mediacom. The coverage culminates with a live broadcast of the Mylan WTT Finals presented by Citi on Friday, August 26 on ESPN3, with ESPN2 joining in at 5:00p ET.
Three 30-minute shows will complement the long-form programming with a focus on season preview, regular season recap and a Finals highlights show. These shows will air domestically on the partner networks in addition to over 150MM homes globally including Eurosport, Eurosport Asia and other international networks. The shows include profiles on each of the six Mylan WTT pro franchises along with interviews from league co-founder Billie Jean King, Caroline Wozniacki, Andy Roddick, John Isner, Martina Hingis and others.
Two additional 30-minute shows on community access and a behind-the-scenes look at one of the Mylan WTT franchise teams -- the Philadelphia Freedoms -- will air nationally on NESN as well as MSG Plus and select other regional networks.
Leif Shiras is the lead host for the Mylan WTT live broadcasts and will be joined by sports announcing veteran Michael Barkann. Chanda Rubin is the lead match analyst along with reporting from Mark Knowles and Luke Jensen. For a full list of broadcast matches, visit www.WTT.com/TV.
On the court, the 2016 season will showcase a run for history and the teams who will battle to unseat the king of the hill, the Washington Kastles. The Kastles have their sights on rewriting history again in 2016 by trying to become the first team to win six consecutive titles and seven overall.
The Kastles lineup is a hit parade of tennis stars with Kastles veterans Martina Hingis, Leander Paes, Sam Querrey, Anastasia Rodionova, Denis Kudla, and Madison Brengle being joined by their newest team members, Sam Groth, Mardy Fish, Bob and Mike Bryan and wildcard Nick Kyrgios who joins the team on August 13 for their final regular season match. Paes, Hingis, Kudla and the Bryans are all scheduled to play matches prior to their departure for the Olympics.
The Kastles will face a challenge from their East Coast rivals Philadelphia Freedoms and New York Empire. The Freedoms’ roster includes Wozniacki, who returns to Mylan WTT action for the first time in a decade. She is joined on the Freedoms’ roster by the big-serving Brit, Naomi Broady, American Samantha Crawford, Lukas Lacko of Slovakia and French doubles star Fabrice Martin. American Donald Young will join the team for four matches in the second week.
The Empire will look to former world No. 1 Andy Roddick for veteran leadership. Rising American Christina McHale, a New Jersey native, heads up the Empire attack which will be coached by Patrick McEnroe. McHale will be joined by Argentinian Olympian Guido Pella, 2015 Male Rookie of the Year Neal Skupski and Pella’s fellow countrywoman Maria Irigoyen.
The Orange County Breakers bring back Nicole Gibbs and 2015 Female Rookie of the Year Alla Kudryavtseva, the distaff core of their 2015 Austin-based squad that advanced to the championship finals. They are joined by former college standout Dennis Novikov and doubles veteran Scott Lipsky. Steve Johnson, who hit a career high ranking of No. 21 this week, joins the Breakers for a home match on August 1 en route to the Rio Games. The Breakers made the move from Texas to Orange County during the off-season and will be based out of the Newport Beach Tennis Club. The 2015 Coach of the Year Rick Leach is back at the helm.
Down the road, their in-state rival San Diego Aviators bring back doubles standouts Raven Klaasen and Darija Jurak. The Aviators are rounded out by a trio of Americans in former world No. 4 James Blake, 2016 French Open quarterfinalist Shelby Rogers and Ryan Harrison, a 2012 Olympian. John Lloyd returns as the Aviators coach.
The Springfield Lasers are known for getting the best out of their team with longtime coach John-Laffnie de Jager leading the way. The Lasers’ 2016 lineup will feature the powerful game of top American John Isner, the experience of veteran Eric Butorac and three new faces to the league in Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier, Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek and German Benjamin Becker. Springfield fell one match short of winning their first team championship in both 2013 and 2014.
For team lineups, schedule, results and player information, please visit www.WTT.com.
Media Contact: Rosie Crews, Mylan WTT (firstname.lastname@example.org) PH: 817-691-5424
About Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO:
Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO is the innovative leader in professional team tennis competition and features many of the world’s best players competing annually for the King Trophy, the league’s championship trophy named after co-founder Billie Jean King. In 2015, Mylan WTT became only the fifth major professional team sports league in the United States to reach the 40th season mark, joining an elite list that includes the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.