February 16, 2017 - World TeamTennis (WTT) - Washington Kastles
Venus Williams, Martina Hingis and Bryan Brothers Return For the Kastles
Venus Playing in DC on Tuesday, July 25th ;
Rest of Schedule Announced Soon
Canadian Sensation Eugenie Bouchard (New York) and American Star Sloane Stephens (Philadelphia) to Visit DC
SHE'S BACK! On July 25h, Venus Williams is returning to the Kastles and she is coming off of a tremendous run to the 2017 Australian Open Finals. (Credit: AusOpen.com)
The Washington Kastles' 10th anniversary season will include some of tennis' biggest names after the Kastles picked up Venus Williams (playing on July 25th), Martina Hingis and Bob and Mike Bryan in the 2017 Marquee Draft this morning.
The four former World #1 players will return to a Kastles team that is looking to rewrite league history with a r ecord seventh WTT Championship. The regular season runs J uly 16 through August 2, with the top two teams slated to face off in the WTT Finals on Saturday, August 5. The Kastles will play 14 regular season matches, including se ven on their home court at The Smith Center at George Washington University. The 2017 match schedule will be released in early March. The Kastles will complete their team lineup next month at the Roster Draft on March 14 in Indian Wells, California.
"I am thrilled that we will be celebrating our monumental 10th season with four of the greatest players in the world," said Kastles Owner Mark Ein. "With Venus, the Bryans and Martina Hingis all on our Kastles roster this summer, our incredible fans will be treated to another great season and a run at a record 7th King Trophy."
Williams, a long-time WTT veteran, has found a supportive home with the Kastles since joining the team in 2010. She led the Kastles to their 2012 title with a final set victory, a highlight she has often called one of her favorite on-court moments. For a look back at that match, you can read the full match recap here or watch highlights from the 2012 Final here. Venus also contributed to the Kastles securing the King Trophy in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. And s he recently made a remarkable run to t he Australian Open final where she lost to her sister Serena. Venus, a former No. 1 in both singles and doubles, has won 49 singles titles and five Olympic medals.
In this iconic photo, Venus Williams' overwhelming joy leads her to jump high into her teammates arms after securing the 2012 WTT Championship and a second straight perfect season. Click the image above to watch highlights from the epic match.
Following the draft, Williams remarked, "It will be a privilege to play for the Kastles for my 6th season. I have circled the date in my calendar and can't wait to wear the Kastles red and blue in Kastles Stadium on July 25th. I've been a part of so much history with the Kastles and I can't wait to rejoin the team for this watershed 10th season and bring home another championship."
Hingis returns for her fifth consec utive year in Washington. She is a two-time WTT Female MVP, guiding the Kastles to the league titles 2013-15. Hingis was inducted into the International Tennis Hall Of Fame in 2013 and is still going strong in double s, having
held the world #1 spot for much of 2016 while add ing two more Grand Slam titles to bring her career haul to 22. Hingis has a remarkable 32-2 record in all sets played for the Kastles and will look to continue her dominant form in 2017.
Hingis and her Mixed Doubles partner Leander Paes never fail to wow the Kastles Fans. Click the image above to watch an incredible point from the 2016 season.
Martina had this to say about her return, " I am looking forward to returning to the Kastles for my 5 th season. Playing alongside such amazing teammates under Coach Murphy's leadership and in front of our amazing DC fans has been a tremendous opportunity and I can't wait to return to DC this summer."
Bob and Mike Bryan are the most successful team in ATP World Tour history with 112 titles and finishing with the year-end #1 ranking a record 10 times. They captured their 1,000th career victory in 2016 and were named the ATP Fan Favorites Mens Doubles Team of the year for the 12th time. The duo also won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. This marks the second straight season the Bryans will be appearing for the Kastles.
"There's nothing like pla ying for th e rocking DC crowd, the atmosphere at Kastles Stadium is remarkable," said Mike and Bob. "We're ecstatic to be playing for the city for our 2nd straight season."
The greatest Men's Doubles team of all time is back to blow away the fans. Click above to watch highlights from their match last year.
Three-time WTT Coach of the Year Murphy Jensen returns for his ninth season at the helm, "I'm pumped to be coaching these unbelievable players once again. All four of them have fought for the Katsles and me in the past and we know how to win together. It's going to be hard to stop us from bringing the King Trophy back to DC."
Also announced on Wednesday former World #5 ranked Eugenie Bouchard will lead the New York Empire into DC for a match against the Kastles. Bouchard has played two seasons in the league, most recently in 2013. The Canadian reached # 5 in the world in 2014 and is a former Wimbledon finalist and semifinalist at the Australian Open and French Open.
Eugenie Bouchard will be representing the New York Empire when they face the Kastles in DC. (Credit: Fred Mullane)
In addition, the Philadelphia Freedoms drafted former Washington Kastles player Sloane Stephens and she is expected to make an appearance in DC during the first two weeks of the season. The American star is a former world #11 and winner of four WTA singles titles who rose to prominence after defeating Serena in 2013 en route to the Australian Open Semifinals.
Stephens represented the Kastles in 2014 and is returning to face her former team as a member of the Freedoms this year.
This will be the Washington Kastles' landmark 10th season and the team will be celebrating this milestone with many of the great players that contributed to the team's amazing success. In the Kastles' first nine seasons, the team has set a high mark on and off the court with standing room only crowds, a growing and enthusiastic fan base, numerous community outreach initiatives and incredible achievements on the court - two perfect seasons, the longest winning streak of any major U.S. pro sports team and six Mylan WTT championship titles (inc luding five straight).
Season tickets are curr ently on sale with single-match tickets on sale later this spring. Fans are encouraged to secure season tickets now to see Williams, Hingis, the Bryan Brothers and the rest of the Kastles battle for their seventh WTT title. A limited number of four-seat VIP tables and boxes are available, as well as individual seats with spectacular views in the Kastles Baseline Experience and Kastles Baseline Club. Season tickets start at $150 an d can be purchased by calling 202-4-TENNIS (483-6647). For more information on the Washington Kastles, please visit www.WashingtonKastles.com .