| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Adam Wolfthal

The New York Sportimes took the court for their final home match of the season Wednesday night, July 25, hosting the undefeated Washington Kastles at Randall’s Island where legends John McEnroe and Martina Hingis participated in the night’s events. With close to a full crowd that came out to support the home team one last time, there was a nice energy inside the stadium.

First up was men’s singles, as Jesse Witten of the Sportimes faced Bobby Reynolds of the Washington Kastles. With a solid first serve percentage of 70 percent and five aces; Reynolds made it really tough for Witten to even contest his service games. Eventually, Reynolds broke Witten and took the first event 5-3.

Next up was women’s doubles, as Martina Hingis & Ashley Harkleroad of the Sportimes faced the Kastles’ team of Raquel Kops-Jones & Edina Gallovits-Hall. The Kastles came out of the gates looking extremely confident. It was apparent that their strategy was to set up their points by attacking Harkleroad and keeping balls away from Hingis. This strategy worked from the beginning and gave them a quick 3-0 lead. The Sportimes hung on for a while by holding serve, but the Kastles were able to take the match 5-2.

After the conclusion of women’s doubles, the men’s doubles match featured Treat Huey & Bobby Reynolds of the Kastles facing Robert Kendrick & John McEnroe of the Sportimes. McEnroe had a very hard time returning the explosive serves of both Huey and Reynolds. The firepower of the Kastles overmatched the Sportime duo, resulting in a 5-3 win for the Kastles.

At this point in the event, things were not looking great for the Sportimes. However, there was some hope going into the next event with Hingis representing the Sportimes team in the women’s singles event. Hingis faced Gallovits-Hall of the Kastles. Hingis showed impeccable movement and confidence leading to a dominating 5-1 win. With the win, Hingis breathed some life back in the Sportime team, who trailed by only three heading into the last match, 13-16. 

The last event of the night was mixed-doubles. Huey & Kops-Jones took on the legendary duo of Johnny Mac & Martina Hingis. Again, Johnny Mac seemed to struggle a bit with his return of serve and low volleys at the net. Hingis pulled her end of the bargain, however it wasn’t enough when the team was broken on Johnny Mac’s serve because of a double fault error. The duo lost the match 5-3 as the Sportimes fell 21-16 to the Kastles.

This match capped a great home season for the Sportimes though, as they went 4-1 with this loss to the Kastles being their only setback.  The Kastles remained undefeated, upping their mark to a perfect 12-0. The Sportimes will finish out the regular season schedule with two road matches and then possibly an appearance in the 2012 World TeamTennis Playoffs.

Credit all photos to Adam Wolfthal

Jesse Witten of the Sportimes answers questions from a young fan

 


John McEnroe poses with the recipients of John McEnroe Tennis Academy scholarships

 


Martina Hingis of the Sportimes ready to return a serve during her singles match against Edina Gallovits of the Kastles

 


John McEnroe ready to return serve during the mixed-doubles

 

Mac and Hingis discuss strategy


Martina Hingis gives a fist pump after putting away Edina Gallovits

 


John McEnroe checks a spot after a questionable call during the men's doubles match

 


Robert Kendrick at net with Mac serving

 


Jamie Loeb of the Sportimes hits and Murphy Jensen getting his team ready