For New York tennis fans, Randall’s Island was the place to be last night as the New York Sportimes defeated the Boston Lobsters 22-18 in World TeamTennis action. Featuring two hall-of-famers, the Thursday night matchup created quite the buzz with the largest turnout so far this season. Actor and comedian, John Leguizamo along with David Dinkins, were two of the celebrities who were also courtside to watch the two legends, John McEnroe and Andre Agassi, compete in the night’s men singles and mixed-doubles events.
After the players from both the Lobsters and Sportimes were introduced, play began with men's doubles as Jesse Witten & Robert Kendrick from the Sportimes faced the Lobster’s duo of Jan-Michael Gambill & Eric Butorac. After some frustrating forehand and volley mistakes from Witten, the Lobsters were able to capitalize and break on Witten’s service game, taking the first match 5-3.
Next up was women’s doubles featuring the strong Sportimes team of Ashley Harkleroad and former world number one Martina Hingis. Hingis dominated at net, leading the Sportimes team to a quick 3-0 lead. Hingis continued to stick her volleys and show off her incredible hands against the more inexperienced Lobster team of Irina Falconi & Carly Gullickson-Eagle. After they captured the early break, the Sportimes maintained their lead and took the match, 5-1.
Now it was time for the match-up all the fans came out to see. John McEnroe of the Sportimes faced off against Andre Agassi of the Boston Lobsters in the men’s singles match. As a spectator at the event, it was apparent that both players haven’t lost the competitive nature that made them world champions. Famous for his incredible return of serve, Agassi was able to jump on the opening game and break Johnny Mac’s serve. Both players continued to hold serve, giving Agassi a chance to serve for the set at 4-3. However, McEnroe turned the tables around with some great return of serving and one incredible slice backhand up the line. With the set knotted at 4, it was time (per WTT rules) for a nine-point tiebreaker. McEnroe couldn’t help himself from throwing his racquet and arguing with the lineperson as tension began to build in the breaker. Agassi was able to keep the cool hand though and prevailed 5-4 (5-3 in the breaker).
In the next match, McEnroe was able to redeem himself in the mixed-doubles event. The Sportimes team of McEnroe & Hingis paired up against Agassi & Gullickson-Eagle. McEnroe & Hingis were able to secure an early break and serve for the match, taking it 5-3 over the Lobsters.
The last event of the night was the women’s singles match, featuring New York's own Irina Falconi for the Lobsters taking on Hingis. Falconi seemed a bit nervous at the start of the match, however, she gained her momentum and pushed Hingis to a tiebreaker. Hingis was able to take an early lead in the breaker and not look back, securing the win for the Sportimes 5-4.
Credit photos to Kenneth B. Goldberg
The Boston Lobsters (pictured) fell to the New York Sportimes 22-18 in World TeamTennis action
John McEnroe in his match against Andre Agassi
Ashley Harkelroad in women's doubles action at Sportime Stadium
The New York Sportimes chalked up another win against to up their mark to 5-2 on the 2012 World TeamTennis season
Jessica Stiles is an intern for New York Tennis Magazine and is a player for the University of Kentucky Women's Tennis Team.