| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo Credit: Lee Seidner

 

The New York Empire began its 2020 WorldTeamTennis campaign as it took on six-time King Trophy winner Washington Kastles on Monday afternoon. The Kastles edged the Empire 21-20 in a thrilling season opener, as Marcelo Arevalo and Nick Monroe defeated Neal Skupski and Jack Sock 5-4 in the final flight to earn the victory.

“They got like seven or eight break points and they couldn’t convert one,” said Arevalo. “That was the key. We stayed calm even when were facing break points and as soon as we got out of that tough moment, I think that was the key. The tiebreaker, we just played amazing.”

Skupski and Sock had three match points in the final flight as the Empire led 20-19 overall, but Monroe dialed up some big serves to erase the break points, and would eventually earn the win in the tiebreaker to seal the Kastles win.

International Tennis Hall of Famer Kim Clijsters made her Empire debut and put her team in front early with a 5-2 win over Bernarda Pera in women’s singles, but in the end, the Kastles doubles teams were able to complete the comeback in the last two flights of the match.

The Empire return to action on Wednesday when it takes on the Philadelphia Freedoms at 3:00 p.m. on Facebook Watch and CBS Sports Digital.

Full Highlights courtesy of World TeamTennis: