| By Monica Gorny
Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

Sportimes Stadium at Randall’s Island was bubbling with excitement last night as the New York Sportimes took on the Washington Kastles in World TeamTennis action to close out the 2011 WTT season. Despite impressive play from the Sportimes team, the Kastles proved too much to handle as they clinched the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 23-15 win. Unfortunately for the Sportimes, this means that their 2011 season ends without advancing to the WTT 2011 playoffs.

The night opened with mixed-doubles action as the Sportimes duo of Martina Hingis & Travis Parrot took on Kastles’ star player, Serena Williams and her partner and doubles specialist, Leander Paes. There was little the Sportimes team could do against the aggressive opposing team, who won the match and put the Kastles out to an early 5-1 lead.

The much-awaited women’s singles match between Sportimes’ Martina Hingis and the Kastles’ Serena Williams followed. Despite the stark height and body build difference between the two players, petite Hingis used her smart plays and strategizing to jump ahead to a 4-1 lead, putting the Sportimes only a point behind in the overall match. However, like a true champion, Williams was not ready to giveaway the match yet and fought back to 4-3 before Hingis won the encounter 5-3, making the overall score 8-6 in the Kastles’ favor.

The men’s doubles between Sportimes’ Parrott & Jesse Witten and the Kastles’ Paes & Bobby Reynolds was an all-Kastles affair with the two more experienced doubles players using their quick hands and doubles strategies to win the match 5-2. Similarly, the women’s doubles between Sportimes’ Hingis & Katie O’Brien and Kastles’ Williams & Rennae Stubbs played out in the Kastles’ favor with the powerful duo taking the match 5-3. Although clearly disappointed by the outcome, players had reason to smile when Williams showed off some of her dancing skills to a “Teach Me How To Dougie” snippet between two points.

With the conclusion of the doubles, the Kastles’ Reynolds went into the men’s singles against the Sportimes’ Witten, knowing that his team had already won the encounter. However, the men’s singlesmatch was still a great contest as Reynolds eventually took the match 5-4, keeping the Kastles undefeated as they head into their regular season finale tonight in Washington, D.C. with an 11-0 record.  

Match Results: New York Sportimes vs. Washington Kastles (July 20, 2011)

►Williams & Paes (Kastles) defeated Parrott & Hingis (Sportimes) 5-1
►Hingis (Sportimes) defeated Williams (Kastles) 5-3
►Paes & Reynolds (Kastles) defeated Parrott & Witten (Sportimes) 5-2
►Stubbs &  Williams (Kastles) defeated Hingis & O' Brien (Sportimes) 5-3
►Reynolds (Kastles) defeated Witten (Sportimes) 5-4

Credit all photos to Kenneth B. Goldberg

Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

Serena Williams came to the Big Apple and helped the Washington Kastles defeat the New York Sportimes 23-15


Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

Leander Paes & Serena Williams in mixed-doubles action at Sportime Stadium at Randall's Island


Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

The Kastles look to close out an undefeated 2011 World TeamTennis season with one more home win on Thursday night


Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

Martina Hingis of the Sportimes fields questions from the media prior to her match with Serena Williams


Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

Travis Parrot & Martina Hingis in mixed-doubles action at Sportime Stadium at Randall's Island


Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

Serena Williams of the Washington Kastles during her pre-match press conference versus the New York Sportimes


Monica Gorny

<p>Monica Gorny is an intern with Long Island Tennis Magazine and is a member of the Duke University Women's Tennis team.</p>