NATIONALLY RANKED JUNIOR McCARTHY FINDS FUN AT
JR. TEAM TENNIS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
CAYCE, S.C. (Oct. 27, 2012) — For Kaitlyn McCarthy, 14 of Cary, N.C., making the 2012 Junior Team Tennis 18 and Under National Championships with her teammates on the Academy Select team was just one of two amazing tennis accomplishments this week.
McCarthy made it through the qualifying round at the Florence Open A USTA Pro Circuit Event Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012 to compete in the main draw with the likes of Taylor Townsend (World No. 1 junior) and Jacqueline Cako. She lost to Angelina Gabueva of Russia (6-4, 6-3) in the first round of the main draw.
McCarthy, currently ranked sixth nationally in junior’s 16 and under girls, started playing competitive tennis tournaments at 9-years-old under Coach Jake Lester at CaryTennisPark. Florence Open was her third Pro Circuit appearance – her first time making it out of the qualifying round.
This year, the rising star decided to add some extra fun to the game she loves by joining her local JTT team, representing the USTA Southern Section. McCarthy said she would encourage other competitive players to take a chance on JTT as well.
“If you get a group of friends playing together like we (Academy Select) have, it can be so much fun,” said McCarthy, of the team atmosphere at JTT Nationals in Cayce, S.C. “It’s an easy way to keep some fun in the game. Tennis is such an individual sport, but when you play JTT you have a whole team of people supporting and cheering for you.”
McCarthy said she loves that mixed doubles is included in the JTT format. With the help of her mixed doubles partner, Justin Warren, they are undefeated on the weekend; topping Missouri Valley (6-1, 6-1) and Northern (6-2, 6-4). In addition to her mixed doubles wins, she topped Missouri Valley in doubles with partner Melinda Kauffman and dominated Lacey Sprinkel of Northern (6-1, 6-0) in singles.
“We definitely encourage competitive players to join Junior Team Tennis, as well as recreational players,” said Adrienne Di Menna, USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Manager. “JTT presents an opportunity for all kids to play as part of a team; something you don’t get at a competitive tournament. Playing on a team also prepares competitive players for the college format.”
Washington Kastles to be Honored by D.C. Mayor and City – Monday, October 22
Proclamation proclaims defending champions “the best of the city”
World TeamTennis (WTT) champions Washington Kastles will be honored by the District of Columbia on Monday, October 22 in recognition of their historic, second consecutive championship season. Mayor Vincent Gray will present a proclamation to the undefeated team at 12:30 p.m. on the steps of the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Fans are invited to join the festivities as the Kastles provide complimentary championship gear, entertainment and fare.
The Kastles won their third WTT title in four years in September, posting a perfect 16-0 season for a second straight year. It is the only time a professional sports team has had back-to-back undefeated seasons, and the Kastles two perfect seasons are the only ones in the 37 years history of World TeamTennis. The Kastles’ current 32-match winning streak puts the team one win away from tying the all-time unbeaten professional sports streak of 33 wins set by the NBA’s 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. This is the fourth time the Kastles have been recognized by the District of Columbia.
Venus Williams leads Washington Kastles to World Team Tennis title
CHARLESTON, S.C. (September 16, 2012) – Venus Williams led the Washington Kastles to their second consecutive World Team Tennis title today with a 20-19 victory over the Sacramento Capitals at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C. Williams was also named the Finals MVP, winning her sets in women’s doubles, mixed doubles and the decisive final set of women’s singles.
The win gives the Kastles 32 consecutive match wins, the second longest streak in U.S. pro sports history. The top mark is 33, held by the NBA’s 1971-72 Lakers.
With the overall score tied at 15-15 heading into the final set, Williams edged Coco Vandeweghe 5-4 in women’s singles to give the Kastles their third title in the past four seasons. Although Williams was part of championship teams in Philadelphia and Washington, this was the first time she had played in the championship match. She credited her Kastles teammates for giving her the edge in a tight final set. “I had to come out on fire today,” said Williams. “Knowing I had to play for my team was motivating.”
“Coco played her heart out,” said Sacramento coach Wayne Bryan. ” I’m very proud of our team and congratulations to the Kastles.”
Sacramento led early when Kevin Anderson defeated Bobby Reynolds in the opening set, winning men’s singles 5-3. Anderson served up three aces and won 79 percent of his first serve points compared to 61 percent for Reynolds.
Washington broke Asia Muhammad’s serve twice in women’s doubles and closed out the set on Venus Williams’ serve, 5-1.
Men’s doubles was highlighted by brilliant shot-making by the Kastles’ Leander Paes but it was the Caps that broke Paes serve for a 2-1 lead. Anderson pushed the lead to 4-2 on his serve and broke Paes serve for a second time to take the set 5-2 and lead 11-10 at halftime.
Coach Wayne Bryan started Anderson in mixed doubles to take advantage of his big serve and the strategy worked as Sacramento won the first game and broke Paes serve to lead 2-0. Washington broke back against Vandeweghe’s serve then Williams held to tie the set at 2-2. After a see-saw battle that evened the score at 4-all, Washington pulled out the set win in a 9-point tiebreak, 5-4 (1).
FINAL RESULTS: World TeamTennis Finals presented by GEICO
Family Circle Tennis Center – Charleston, S.C. – Sunday, September 16
WASHINGTON KASTLES def. Sacramento Capitals 20-19
Men’s Singles – Kevin Anderson (Capitals) def. Bobby Reynolds (Kastles) 5-3
Women’s Doubles – Venus Williams\Anastasia Rodionova (Kastles) def. Yasmin Schnack\Asia Muhammad (Capitals) 5-1
Men’s Doubles – Mark Knowles\Kevin Anderson (Capitals) def. Bobby Reynolds\Leander Paes (Kastles) 5-2
Mixed Doubles – Leander Paes\Venus Williams (Kastles) def. Mark Knowles\Coco Vandeweghe (Capitals) 5-4
Women’s Singles – Venus Williams (Kastles) def. Coco Vandeweghe (Capitals) 5-4
Washington Kastles Win Eastern Conference Championship And Push Streak To 31 Matches Defending champions outlast New York Sportimes for fourth time this year, head to finals
CHARLESTON, S.C. – September 15, 2012 – Defending World Team Tennis champions Washington Kastles defeated their arch-rival, the New York Sportimes, 19-15 in the WTT Eastern Conference final, propelling the team into Sunday’s championship match for the second consecutive year and extending the team’s historic win streak to 31 matches.
With the match tied and one set remaining, four-time Olympic gold medalist Venus Williams blasted her way past Ashley Harkleroad 5-1 in women’s singles to clinch a spot for the Kastles in the WTT Finals for the third time in four years.
“We’ve been in this situation before and we knew how to win. There was a lot of pressure on us, but we just knew we had to put the ball in play and go for the shot,” said Venus Williams. “It shows why we are a great team.”
The arch-rival Sportimes had been the Kastles’ toughest opponent during the regular season, including a thrilling 21-20 Washington win on July 21, when Venus Williams rallied from six games down in the final set to complete the franchise’s largest comeback ever.
Next up is the Western Conference champion Sacramento Capitals. They defeated the Orange County Breakers 25-15 on Friday to advance to the WTT championship match. The Kastles defeated Sacramento 21-19 on July 18.
In posting 31 straight victories, the Kastles have the second-longest winning streak in major U.S. professional sports history and are within range of the 33-game streak by the NBA’s 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers. They have already passed the respective records of 17 straight wins set by the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-1993, 21 straight wins by the NFL’s New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004, and 26 wins by the 1916 MLB New York Giants.
This year’s 14-0 regular season by the Kastles marked the first time in major U.S. professional sports history in which a team has had consecutive unbeaten regular seasons. Last season, in addition to winning a second WTT title in three years, the Kastles posted a perfect 16-0 record – a first in WTT history.
Kastles’ closer Bobby Reynolds was named the 2012 WTT Male Most Valuable Player. Kastles’ Coach Murphy Jensen was selected as 2012 Coach of the Year, the second straight season he has won that honor.
The 37th WTT regular season ran July 9-28. The championship is being played this year in September to accommodate players who participated in the Olympics and US Open.
Today was a monumental day for local tennis and University of Virginia fans as former Cavaliers Treat Huey and Dom Inglot won the CitiOpen doubles final in Rock Creek Park. Huey was drafted by the Washington Kastles during the last week of the WTT season and was put in a particularly tough spot. He was there to help the Kastles win their final matches and remain undefeated for a second straight season after Leander Paes, Anastasia Rodionova and Venus Williams left for the Olympics. He helped get that unlikely job done, and then a week later, wins his hometown pro tournament. Huey grew up just a few nautical miles down the Potomac from the annual DC ATP event. Here he is on his exciting few weeks in DC tennis, his childhood memories of the tournament and his no-shave rule.
After getting called up by the Washington Kastles to help improbably defend a second perfect regular season and then winning your hometown tournament, is there anyone in Washington who’s had a better month than Treat Huey?
It’s been an unbelievable experience. It’s been a lot of fun coming to play with the Kastles here in D.C. It was a lot of fun. I want to thank Mark (Kastles Owner Mark Ein) for picking me and playing with Bobby. I know Bobby pretty well. And it’s a great experience to come in here and play the tournament. I grew up in Washington and I’ve been coming to this tournament since I was a little kid. Dom and I had a tough week, but it’s always a lot more fun when you win.
Any particular players or matches you liked as a kid?
I liked Blake and Agassi and Tommy Haas a bunch. Seeing Tommy Haas do really well this week has been a lot of fun. As a kid, I don’t know what year it was, but Blake played Agassi one year and was absolutely on fire. It was pretty bad. I don’t remember what the score was, but I remember Blake was hitting winner after winner everywhere on the court. Absolutely packed house. Winners everywhere. That was one of my highlights. I still remember it today.
What’s with the facial hair. Is it a good luck charm?
Dom and I started a week ago. We shaved. Once a tournament starts, we’ll never shave until the tournament is over. That’s something we’ve always done, and I think that’s something we’ll always be doing.
The Kastles swept the sets last night to extend their winning streak to 26. It was a team effort, and there was no let down after Venus left the sold out Kastles Stadium following her two victorious sets.
Leander Paes and Anastasia Rodionova took the mixed doubles match in their last pre-London Olympic warm-ups.
Even Doubles legend Aisam Qureshi couldn’t stop the Kastles.
Finally, Bobby Reynolds finished off Nick Monroe and the Kansas City Explorers.
Now that Anastasia Rodionova and Leander Paes have left for the Olympics, it’s time for Treat Huey and Edina Gallovits-Hall to step up as the Kastles ramp up to keep their perfect streak alive heading into the postseason. They will be joined by the newest Kastle, Raquel Kops-Jones, who was drafted over the weekend.
Huey is an Alexandria, Virginia native and grew up a few miles down the Potomac from Kastles Stadium at The Wharf. I interviewed Treat and his doubles partner Dom Inglot two weeks ago in Newport.
Last night, Serena Williams was scheduled to be in attendance at the Washington Kastles home match against the Kansas City Explorers, but decided against testing her back before London 2012. Venus Williams substituted for her younger sister and she did not disappoint in any way. After posting back-to-back 5-1 wins in womens singles and doubles to give the home team an insurmountable lead, Williams was warmly embraced by the sellout crowd and attracted so many well wishers all the way to her ride to the airport that she must have cut the flight close. You can catch that scene at the end of the video below.
Earlier, in a pre-match press conference, Wiliams was asked what she thought about grunting. She said “tonight you’ll see the intensity level go and up and down, the voices will go up and down, in the crowd and on the court. It’s just tennis.”
Venus Williams is about much more than just tennis. Pro tennis players rarely make an impact on our lives the way that Venus has. What else can explain the intense attachment that the fans feel for her?