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New York Empire Ambush the Kastles with Statement Victory Ahead of Playoff Push

July 26, 2020 - World TeamTennis (WTT) - New York Empire News Release

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.V. - It was a story of break points during the New York Empire's, 25-15, thrashing of the Washington Kastles today at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.

The Empire's Sabine Lisicki stepped onto Center Court at Creekside to face the Kastles' Venus Williams as the second set got underway. Lisicki took advantage early by breaking Williams, but the favor was almost immediately returned by Williams, tightening the score, 4-3. Serving for the set, Lisicki found her groove and pushed the Empire to a five-game lead, 10-5. Emotions took over as Lisicki returned to the bench after scoring the set win over the icon, crying tears of accomplishment. Lisicki has struggled in her comeback in Women's Singles, going 4-16 heading into today, her first set win.

Lisicki and Williams returned to the court for the Women's Doubles set with their Empire and Kastles teammates, Peschke and Arina Rodionova, respectively. Tied at three games apiece, the two teams broke one another's serve to force a nine-point tiebreaker. A Rodionova return found the net with the score 4-3 in the tiebreaker, handing the set to the Empire, extending the lead over Washington to nine games.

New York's Jack Sock and Tommy Paul of the Kastles took each other the distance in the final frame, forcing a tiebreaker, won 5-4 by the Empire with an emphatic ace from Sock to close out the match, 25-15.

Sabine Lisicki on the emotional victory over Venus Williams: "It was tough for me. These are my fist matches in over a year, plus the quarantine, plus the first time in World TeamTennis. I got subbed out a couple of times in the last few matches so that was tough, but I just hung in there. I kept going to the practice court and putting in more work after the (previous) matches. It's always great to play a champion like Venus and it's an honor to be on the court with her."

FINAL RESULT:

New York Empire defeat WASHINGTON KASTLES, 25-15

Mixed Doubles - Neal Skupski/Kveta Peschke (Empire) def. Marcelo Arevalo/Bernarda Pera

(Kastles), 5-2

Women's Singles - Sabine Lisicki (Empire) def. Venus Williams (Kastles), 5-3

Men's Doubles - Skupski/Jack Sock (Empire) def. Tommy Paul/Arevalo (Kastles), 5-2

Women's Doubles - Lisicki/Peschke (Empire) def. Arina Rodionova/Williams (Kastles), 5-4

Men's Singles - Jack Sock (Empire) def. Tommy Paul (Kastles), def. 5-4

NOTEBOOK:

NEXT SCHEDULED MATCH: After a day off, both the New York Empire and Washington Kastles return to the court on Tuesday, July 28. The Kastles play the Springfield Lasers at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT on Tennis Channel and the Empire plays against the Orlando Storm at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on CBS Sports Network.

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