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Kastles Rout Lobsters in Front of Record Crowd

July 22, 2015 - World TeamTennis (WTT) - Washington Kastles News Release

Sam Querrey of the Washington Kastles
Sam Querrey of the Washington Kastles
(Washington Kastles, Credit: Willis Bretz)

If you looked at the final score and statistics, you never would have known World No. 1 Serena Williams was missing from Tuesday's Kastles match.

Washington swept all five sets and did not drop serve the entire evening en route to a 25-13 victory against the Boston Lobsters.

Subbing for Williams, Madison Brengle won singles 5-3 and doubles with Anastasia Rodionova 5-0, helping the Kastles to their 16th straight win over Boston dating back to 2010.

More importantly, the 5-3 Kastles now own sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference, one match ahead of the 4-4 Lobsters.

A Kastles-record crowd of 4,255 fans and a national-television audience on Tennis Channel saw Williams deliver a video message expressing sorrow for missing the match and support for her teammates.

Serena Williams addressed the capacity crowd at Kastles Stadium before Tuesday night's match.

The Kastles heeded her words and jumped on top of the Lobsters in the opening set of mixed doubles, with Rodionova and Leander Paes putting forth their best set of the season.

They broke the Lobsters for a 3-1 lead thanks to help from Boston substitute Maria Sanchez, who was playing her first set as a Lobster. Sanchez committed a time violation, foot-faulted on a second serve, and double-faulted on deciding point to gift the break to Washington.

Following a changeover, the Kastles came up with one spectacular shot after another.

You'll want to visit ESPN3.com to relive the rally with Scott Lipsky serving at 1-4 in the set and 1-1 in the game. All four players were heavily involved, hitting fantastic lobs and showing quick reflexes at the net. Sanchez thought she ended the point by extending for a volley, but Paes hit it right back at her to bring the fans to their feet.

Lipsky managed to hold for 2-4, but after an exchange like that, it was only fitting that Paes ended the set by creating more magic at the net. With Rodionova serving, Paes dropped a backhand volley behind Lipsky to claim the set 5-2.

Rodionova stayed on court for women's doubles with Brengle, and the Kastles' duo continued its recent hot streak.

Washington converted all three of its break point opportunities in the set, jumping all over the experienced Lobsters duo. Though Sanchez was playing her first Mylan WTT match of 2015, she and Irina Falconi have played 18 events on tour as a team.

From the depth on Rodionova's returns to the ease with which Brengle held serve, it sure seemed that the Kastles had the seasoned pair on their side.

Washington captured the set 5-0 when Rodionova deftly lobbed a volley over both Lobsters, drawing a wild overhead error from Sanchez and giving the Kastles a commanding 10-2 advantage.

A competitive men's doubles set followed, as did another rally worthy of an ESPN3.com replay.

On just the fifth point of the set, Lipsky landed a jaw-dropping behind-the-back shot, only to see Paes counter with an amazing get of his own. The Kastles captain stole the point as the crowd roared in amazement.

So began a strong-serving set that featured eight straight holds, including Paes winning a 3-all point on his serve and Lipsky doing the same for the Lobsters.

Big-serving Sam Querrey started the tiebreaker at 4-4 with one big serve after another, hitting an ace and a service winner to give Washington a 2-0 lead.

Paes followed by hitting a winner the hard way, nailing Tim Smyczek in the hip with a forehand.

However, the Lobsters clawed their way back from 0-3 in the tiebreaker, forcing a winner-take-all point at 4-4.

With Smyczek hitting a second serve, Querrey unloaded on his forehand return, which was too strong for Lipsky at the net. Lipsky's volley bounced just long as the Kastles entered halftime with a 15-6 lead.

In the fourth set, all eyes were on Brengle as she substituted for Williams in women's singles. Showing no nerves in front of the sold-out crowd, Brengle played steadily from the baseline and broke Falconi in the opening game.

The 25-year-old Kastle would hold onto her one-break lead for the entire set, winning a 3-all point to hold for 3-1, then withstanding four consecutive winners from Falconi in the game that followed.

Brengle fist-pumped and shouted, "Come on," after hitting a cross-court backhand winner to take a 4-2 lead. After Falconi held, Brengle served the set out 5-3 with a service winner down the tee.

That gave the Kastles a 20-9 lead entering the final set, and with Querrey's big serve, 11 games was an insurmountable margin for Smyczek to make up.

Playing his first home match as a Kastle, Querrey drew gasps from fans as he flattened first serves and forehands, holding with ease in each of his four service games.

Smyczek, the 75th-ranked player in the world, countered with four service holds of his own, forcing a final-set tiebreaker.

One mini break was all the 34th-ranked Querrey needed to run away with the tiebreak, serving it out 5-1 with two straight service winners.

After competing in tonight's Charity Classic, the Kastles fly to Boston for a rematch with the Lobsters on Thursday before visiting the undefeated Austin Aces on Friday.

Wimbledon women's and mixed doubles champion Martina Hingis makes her much-anticipated return in Thursday's match. Keep track of Hingis and the Kastles with live scoring on WashingtonKastles.com.

2015 Washington Kastles Charity Classic is Tonight!

Join Kastles for a Great Cause; General Admission Tickets Only $10

Some of Washington's powerhouse politicians, newsmen and other notables will vie for the Kastles Cup while raising money for a great cause during the fourth annual Washington Kastles Charity Classic tonight at the Smith Center. Tickets are on sale now for $10 at Ticketmaster.com and the Smith Center box office.

Members of Congress and the national media will join the five-time Mylan World TeamTennis champion Washington Kastles for this one-of-a-kind tennis event.

Democrats, Republicans and even the Kastles will play together on Team Stars and Team Stripes for a series of fast-paced tiebreakers. The team with the most cumulative points at the end of the final tiebreaker will capture the Charity Classic championship.

The 2014 Charity Classic ended dramatically when Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA) rallied Team Stripes to a 47-46 comeback victory, earning MVP honors along the way. Representative Dent returns this year, joining his 2014 teammates Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL), ABC News' Jonathan Karl, and former Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling.

Founded in 2008, the Kastles have made more than $1 million in charitable donations. The Charity Classic is an extension of those efforts with 100% of ticket proceeds benefiting Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), DC Public Education Fund, and Food & Friends. Fans can choose which organization to support when they make their ticket purchase.

"Our franchise's founding mission has been to give back to the D.C. community, which makes the Charity Classic such a meaningful night," said Kastles owner Mark Ein. "People who don't agree on much can agree that tennis is the sport of a lifetime and a wonderful way to come together. Kastles players and fans are very much looking forward to this year's event."

Representing the Kastles at the Charity Classic are reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open mixed doubles champion Leander Paes, Top 25 doubles player Anastasia Rodionova, big-serving American star Sam Querrey, and head coach Murphy Jensen. They will be joined on the court by:

Representative Joyce Beatty, D-OH

Representative Cheri Bustos, D-IL

Representative Charlie Dent, R-PA

Representative Bob Dold, R-IL

Representative Jared Huffman D-CA

Representative Bobby Scott, D-VA

Representative Kevin Yoder, R-KS

Senator Jeff Flake R-AZ

Senator Jeff Merkley, D-OR

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV

Bret Baier, Fox News

Mark Ein, Washington Kastles Owner

John-Paul Flaim, The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan

Ed Henry, Fox News

Jonathan Karl, ABC News

Ben Olsen, DC United Head Coach

Gene Sperling, Former Director of the National Economic Council

All ticket proceeds go to charities and general admission tickets cost $10 through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 202-397-7328) and the Smith Center box office. VIP dinner tables, boxes and seats start at $50 and can be purchased by calling 202-4-TENNIS (483-6647).




Images from this story

Washington Kastles Madison Brengle and Coach Murphy Jensen
Washington Kastles Madison Brengle and Coach Murphy Jensen

(Kevin Koski)
Washington Kastles Anastasia Rodionova High Fives Leander Paes
Washington Kastles Anastasia Rodionova High Fives Leander Paes

(Kevin Koski)
Leander Paes of the Washington Kastles
Leander Paes of the Washington Kastles

(Willis Bretz)
Madison Brengle of the Washington Kastles
Madison Brengle of the Washington Kastles

(Kevin Koski)
Sam Querrey of the Washington Kastles
Sam Querrey of the Washington Kastles

(Willis Bretz)
 

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