Williams Sisters, Hingis Headline as Kastles Defend Championship
3/10/2012, 8:13 p.m.
Coming off a perfect season and their second World TeamTennis title, the Washington Kastles' 2012 home schedule kicks off against Martina Hingis and the rival New York Sportimes before concluding with consecutive matches featuring Serena and Venus Williams.
The Kastles, who in 2011 became the first team in the 36-year history of WTT to go 16-0, will host seven home matches in a 13-day span, including an unprecedented five straight home matches from July 15 through July 22.
"After last year's undefeated season, league championship and record-breaking attendance, this season may be the most anticipated in Kastles history," said Kastles' owner Mark Ein. "We are thrilled to bring another summer of exciting tennis to our amazing fans in Washington as the Kastles battle to defend their WTT championship.
"We are especially excited that tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams will again be playing for the Kastles, and that our fans will have the last chance to see them play before the start of the Olympic Games in London on July 28."
The Kastles, led for the fourth consecutive year by Coach Murphy Jensen, will begin their title defense on the road July 9 against former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport and the Orange County Breakers. The team then takes on the Springfield Lasers July 11 in Missouri.
The first Kastles home match on July 12 will feature the Washington's biggest rivals -- the New York Sportimes - who will be led by 15-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis. This will be a rematch of Washington's dramatic win over the Sportimes in a Supertiebreaker last season, during which the Kastles saved five match points to preserve their undefeated record.
The Kastles then travel to Boston to play the Lobsters on July 13 in a rematch of the 2011 WTT Eastern Conference Championship, which Washington won 23-15.
The five-match homestand will begin on July 15 when Washington celebrates USTA Family Night against Philadelphia. This much-anticipated evening includes fun activities for children and parents alike around the grounds of Kastles Stadium at The Wharf.
The Boston Lobsters will then take on the Kastles in D.C. on July 16. The Sacramento Capitals come to town on July 18, followed by an important match against the Orange County Breakers on July 20. Tennis Hall-of-Famer Chris Evert will return to Kastles Stadium at The Wharf that night to meet and greet Kastles fans.
Serena Williams and Venus Williams will join the Kastles for their final two home matches of the 2012 season. Serena will lead Washington against the Kansas City Explorers on July 22. Venus returns to D.C. on July 24 when the team takes on the Philadelphia Freedoms.
With a Williams sister in their lineup, the Kastles have won 14 consecutive matches dating back to their inaugural 2008 season.
The Kastles finish the regular season with a road trip to New York on July 25 to take on John McEnroe and the Sportimes. They then travel to Kansas City on July 27 to compete against the Explorers. The final regular season match is on July 28 against the Springfield Lasers.
The 2012 WTT Finals Weekend will be held following the conclusion of the Olympic Games and the US Open, September 14-16 in Charleston, S.C.