Mylan World TeamTennis is returning to San Diego as the San Diego Aviators will make their debut this summer after local businessman Russell Geyser bought the New York Sportimes franchise and has relocated the team. The Aviators will begin their inaugural season in July and plan to construct a temporary 3,000-seat stadium in a downtown location. The team plans to announce the final venue selection in a few weeks.
“Tennis has long been a passion of mine, and the opportunity to continue to bring world class professional tennis to San Diego was a remarkable one,” said Geyser. “It is our goal to field a championship team in an unparalleled venue and combine each event with music and charity. We named the team The San Diego Aviators to be evocative of San Diego's long, storied history of military and commercial aviation.”
Geyser is the owner of the San Diego franchise with Jack McGrory as a minority partner. Shelly Hall will serve as the Aviators’ general manager.
San Diego’s history with Mylan World TeamTennis dates back to the 1970s and 1980s when the San Diego Friars played in the League. Mylan WTT co-founder Billie Jean King, who is a Southern California native from Long Beach, also hosts an annual junior tournament in San Diego.
The 39th season of Mylan WTT starts July 6 and concludes July 27 with the Mylan WTT Finals. The Aviators will play 14 regular season matches, including seven at their home venue. San Diego will have the option to retain the rights to the 2013 New York Sportimes players although their 2014 team lineup will not be determined until the Mylan WTT Marquee Player Draft on Tuesday, Feb. 11 and the Mylan WTT Roster Player Draft on Tuesday, March 11. San Diego will pick first in both drafts because of New York’s last place in 2013.
Mylan WTT is well known for showcasing and introducing innovative elements to tennis including instant replay, teams featuring men and women in equal roles, cumulative and no-ad scoring, on-court coaching and timeouts, Overtime and Supertiebreakers, multi-colored courts and player names on the back of shirts.
Each Mylan WTT team is comprised of two men, two women and a coach. Team matches consist of five sets, with one set each of men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. The first team to reach five games wins each set. One point is awarded for each game won, and a nine-point tiebreaker is played if a set reaches four all. If necessary, Overtime and a Supertiebreaker are played to determine the outright winner of the match.