The New York Sportimes completed another successful season of World TeamTennis (WTT) action this summer. Home matches were played at both Sportime Stadium at Randall’s Island (five matches) and the SEFCU Arena in Albany, N.Y. (two matches). Attendance was up this year, as fans have started to realize how much fun these matches can be. A noisy atmosphere between points is encouraged and WTT is a great chance to see some of the stars of the game up close and personal in an intimate atmosphere.
The Sportimes season on the court did end up a little disappointing as they failed to make the 2011 WTT Playoffs, coming off the 2010 season where they won the Eastern Conference. This season, the Eastern Conference was dominated by the Washington Kastles who went wire-to-wire with a perfect 16-0 record. The Sportimes wound up in a tie for second place with the Boston Lobsters as both teams finished the season with identical 7-7 records. Since the teams split their head-to-head series, the tie-breaker came down to most total games won in the head-to-head matchups, where Boston came out ahead and advanced to the WTT Playoffs.
In the playoffs, the Kastles continued their domination, defeating the Boston Lobsters and the St Louis Aces en route to the 2011 WTT Championship.
While it would have been nice to make the playoffs again in 2011, the Sportimes season still provided a number of highlights for the New York fans:
Credit all photos to Kenneth B. Goldberg
John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg renewed their epic rivalry as they played in front of a sold-out crowd at Sportime at Randall’s Island
Former world number one ranked players Serena Williams and Martina Hingis competed in front of another sold-out crowd at Sportime at Randall’s Island
In addition to Borg and Serena, the Sportimes hosted the number one doubles team in the world, The Bryan Brothers as well
Martina Hingis competed in all of the Sportimes matches this summer and John McEnroe made two home appearances
Chris Evert was a special guest at the Sportimes home match against the St. Louis Aces, as she came on-court to play a mixed-doubles exhibition with students from the John McEnroe Academy
Two concerts were held at Sportime Stadium at Randall’s Island … one prior to the home opener featuring local pop singer Tiffany Giardina (pictured above), and the second following John McEnroe's match with Bjorn Borg featuring John McEnroe and his Johnny Smyth Band
Top doubles specialists Leander Paes (pictured in action above) & Liezel Huber, and young stars Beatrice Capra and Coco Vandeweghe made stops in NY to face the Sportimes
The WTT season was also a great lead-in for the launch of New York Tennis Magazine. A free copy of our inaugural edition was distributed to all fans attendance for all home matches. Also, our professional photographer was on hand for all home matches as well. You can check out photos from the season on our Facebook page or our Web site LongIslandTennisMagazine.com.
All in all, this WTT season was a great prelude to the sport’s stars coming in for the 2011 U.S. Open, and with New York currently not a host site of either an ATP or WTA tournament, this chance to see the stars in WTT action should be appreciated by tennis fans throughout the area.
Tweets from the stars of World TeamTennis:
►Katie O’Brien (@katiejobrien): I'm still pinching myself that I was on the same team as McEnroe & Hingis … both absolute legends.
►The Bryan Brothers (@bryanbrothers): Sneaking in a few winks on the journey to the next city. Sleep is a valuable commodity during WTT!
►Murphy Jensen (@murphyjensen): 14-0 Washington KASTLES!!!! I love this team! Love it!
►Katie O’Brien (@katiejobrien): Incredible team effort by the Sportimes tonight to beat Kansas City feat. Bryan Bros & Peschke (current world number ones & Wimby champs). AWESOME!
►Serena Williams (@serenawilliams): 4 days, 7 different cities … man! A new one today!!
►Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76): Woohoo! RT @stlouisaces: THE ACES ARE GOING TO THE WTT FINALS!!! The team beat Kansas City to clinch the top seed in the Western Conference!
►The Bryan Brothers (@bryanbrothers): Playing the Philly Freedoms tonight in the last of a six-match and eight-day WTT run across the U.S. Hoping to finish strong and get KC playoff bound!
►Katie O’Brien (@katiejobrien): I'm leaving with life-lasting memories from both on and off the court. Big thanks to my awesome teammates and the @NYSportimes crew. I love you all!