Roddick, Empire Fall to Kastles

Credit all photos to Lee Seidner
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The five-time defending champion Washington Kastles came into Forest Hills Stadium at West Side Tennis Club on Tuesday night and defeated the New York Empire 22-13, led by American Madison Brengle’s prowess in her singles and doubles matches.

The Empire were joined by 2003 U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick, and the former number one got thrown right into the fire, opening up the night in the Men’s Doubles set as he and Neal Skupski took on Treat Huey and Stephane Robert.

All four players would hold serve through the first eight games, forcing the opening set into a tiebreaker. On set point, Roddick ripped a forehand winner to clinch the set and give the Empire the early 5-4 advantage.

The women’s singles set was up next, and Madison Brengle pushed the Kastles ahead with a 5-0 triumph over Christina McHale.

Roddick then faced off with Stephane Robert. The Frenchman broke Roddick in the opening game of the set, and consolidated it with a hold to take the 2-0 advantage. He would go on to serve out the set 5-3, giving the Kastles a 14-8 lead after three sets.

“It’s a big ask not to play tennis and then come in and play someone who is top 50 in the world. It was always going to be tough. There were some good moments, the doubles was fun. Overall I enjoyed myself,” said Roddick. “He [Robert] is playing at a different speed right now. Hitting the ball stays similar, but the movement is the thing that goes. And he was exposing that really well. I tried to get a couple of early holds in the set to apply some scoreboard pressure to him, but the longer the rallies went the tougher time I had.”

Brengle then paired up with Andreja Klepac to defeat McHale and Maria Irigoyen 5-0 in the Women’s Doubles set to open up a 19-8 Kastles lead heading into the final set.

Skupski and Irigoyen forced the match into extended play by beating Klepac and Treat Huey 5-2 in the final set, but just one game leader the Huey and Klepac closed things out to wrap up the 22-13 Kastles victory.

The Empire travel to Philadelphia tonight to take on the Freedoms before returning home for their final two matches.

Washington Kastles (4-4) d. New York Empire (2-6) 22-13
Men’s Doubles: Andy Roddick/Neal Skupski (NYE) Stephane Robert/Treat Huey, 5-4

►Women’s Singles: Madison Brengle (WAS) d. Christina McHale (NYE), 5-0

►Men’s Singles:  Stephane Robert (WAS) d. Andy Roddick (NYE), 5-3

►Women’s Doubles: Madison Brengle/Andreja Klepac (WAS) d. Christina McHale/Maria Irigoyen (NYE), 5-0

►Mixed Doubles: Andreja Klepac/Treat Huey (WAS) d. Maria Irigoyen/Neal Skupski (NYE), 5-2

►Extended Play - Mixed Doubles - Andreja Klepac/Treat Huey (WAS) def. Maria Irigoyen/Neal Skupski (NYE), 1-0