Olympic Update: 4 of 6 Kastles Heading to LondonJune 28, 2012 - World TeamTennis (WTT) Washington Kastles
Venus and Serena Williams of the USA, Anastasia Rodionova of Australia and Leander Paes of India will go for gold on the grounds of Wimbledon beginning July 28th after leading the Kastles in their quest for a third World TeamTennis title since 2009.
For the Kastles' captain Paes, it will be his sixth appearance at the Olympic Games -- an all-time record among Asian athletes. The Olympics run in the Paes family as Leander's parents, Vece and Jennifer, represented India in field hockey and basketball respectively at Munich in 1972.
Paes, himself, has fond memories of the Olympics, winning the singles bronze medal at Atlanta in 1996 and carrying the Indian flag during the opening ceremony at Sydney in 2000.
The two-time WTT Male MVP has played in the men's doubles event every four years since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, coming as close to a medal as the Athens semifinals in 2004. After making his Olympic debut 20 years ago alongside Ramesh Krishnan, Paes has played each of the last four Olympics with current World No. 15 Mahesh Bhupathi.
This time around, the All India Tennis Association nominated the seventh-ranked Paes to play with 24-year-old Vishnu Vardhan, a big server who has reached career-high rankings in singles and doubles on the ATP World Tour this season.
At the 2010 Asian Games, Vardhan earned the silver medal in mixed doubles with Sania Mirza, who is expected to serve as Paes' mixed partner in London.
Anastasia Rodionova hopes to build off her Commonwealth Games success.
While Paes readies for a return to familiar territory, Anastasia Rodionova eagerly awaits her Olympic debut, calling her nomination the "best news ever" on Twitter.
Less than a year after becoming an Australian citizen, Rodionova represented her new nation superbly at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India, where she defeated Mirza to win the gold medal in singles. The Russian-born Rodionova also added gold in women's doubles and silver in mixed doubles.
Rodionova, ranked 19th in the world, will team with Jarmila Gajdosova in women's doubles at this year's Olympics. Like Rodionova, Gajdosova gained Australian citizenship in 2009, having previously represented her native Slovakia.
In their third tournament together, the adopted Aussies won three matches to reach the quarterfinals at the French Open earlier this month.
Venus and Serena Williams are also in the Olympic women's doubles draw, which they have dominated over the years. The Williams sisters are a perfect 10-0 in doubles at the Olympics, losing just four games combined in gold-medal matches at Sydney in 2000 and Beijing in 2008.
Both Venus and Serena are entered in the singles draw as well. Serena is seeking her first singles medal and Venus is hoping for a return to the top of the podium, where she celebrated 12 years ago in Sydney.
The Olympic mixed doubles field will not be officially announced until the week of the tournament. Nevertheless, since Venus and Serena are entered in at least two events, they each have the chance to become the first tennis player in history to win four career Olympic gold medals.
Before they return to the grass courts of Wimbledon, the four Olympians will be representing Washington on the multi-colored court of Kastles Stadium at The Wharf.
Tickets to see Venus Williams (July 16), Serena Williams (July 22), Anastasia Rodionova and Leander Paes are on sale now, but matches are close to selling out. Don't miss your chance to see four of the best athletes in the world competing on DC's Southwest Waterfront!
After Serena Win, Kastles Fill Wimbledon Schedule
Serena Williams went mid-air for this backhand on Tuesday.
It had been four weeks since she last played a match, but Serena Williams didn't wait long to erase the memories of her first-round French Open loss. The four-time Wimbledon champion needed only 80 minutes to defeat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2, 6-4 on Court 2 Tuesday.
Now 18-1 in her last 19 matches at Wimbledon, Serena will meet Melinda Czink of Hungary in the second round on Thursday. The No. 6 seed is 2-0 lifetime against Czink, with both wins coming in straight sets three years ago.
Today's schedule is chock-full of Kastles. Besides her singles match, Serena is playing her first-round women's doubles match with sister Venus . The teams of Leander Paes & Radek Stepanek, Bobby Reynolds & Izak van der Merwe and Anastasia Rodionova & Andreja Klepac will also be in doubles action.
When and Where to Catch the Kastles on Thursday
Player Event DC Time Court Scoring/Streaming
Reynolds Doubles 6:30 am 10 Scoring
Serena Singles 8:00 am Centre Streaming
Paes Doubles 12:30 pm* 7 Scoring
Rodionova Doubles 1:30 pm* 4 Scoring
Serena/Venus Doubles 1:30 pm* 18 Streaming
Remember, each time a Kastles' player wins a singles or doubles match, one of our Twitter followers who retweets the result will win a prize. If you haven't already done so, be sure to follow the Kastles at Twitter.com/WashKastles.
Four players who will be competing against the Kastles this summer have advanced to the second round at the All England Club. Sam Querrey of the Sacramento Capitals (July 18), Kristyna Pliskova of the Philadelphia Freedoms (July 15 & July 24), Eric Butorac of the Boston Lobsters (July 16) and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of the Kansas City Explorers (July 22) all won their Wimbledon openers.
After falling outside the Top 100 in April, Querrey is back up to No. 64 in the world and will continue rising after his four-set win over Olympian Vasek Pospisil of Canada. Pliskova's 6-2, 6-2 win over Polona Hercog was her fourth already at Wimbledon after she qualified with three victories. In men's doubles, Butorac and Qureshi won their respective first-round matches.
Philadelphia Freedoms' rookie Kristyna Pliskova won the '10 Wimbledon junior title.
Last Call for 2012 Washington Kastles' Ballkids!
Ballkids smile for the camera with the Kastles following the perfect 2011 season.
Ever dream of watching Grand Slam champions Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Leander Paes and Martina Hingis play tennis from just a few feet away?
The Washington Kastles are looking for a select group of tennis-savvy ballkids to work at our seven home matches this season. Applications are available on WashingtonKastles.com.
There isn't a bad seat inside Kastles Stadium at The Wharf, but the best view of the action is undoubtedly from on the court. As a Kastles' ballkid, you'll be the envy of everyone, but your job is one of the most important components of a tennis match.
Kastles' ballkids make sure the matches on court run smoothly and gain a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see tennis as few others ever have. They also make new friends and earn community service hours while they're at it.
The final tryout will be held tonight from 6-7 pm at Kastles Stadium at The Wharf: 800 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024. In order to be selected, you will need to attend.
Please wear shorts and tennis shoes, and be prompt!
If you think you have what it takes, apply now by clicking here (Ignore the deadline date). You can submit the application and signed waiver via scan to Julie@washingtonkastles.com or via fax to 202-654-7070.
You can also bring the application and signed waiver with you to the tryout.
World TeamTennis Stories from June 28, 2012
- Orange County Breakers Celebrate 10th Anniversary with Special Events - Orange County Breakers
- Olympic Update: 4 of 6 Kastles Heading to London - Washington Kastles
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