Philadelphia Freedoms Beat New York Empire, Set to Face Them Again in Wtt Playoff Semifinal on Saturday
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.V. - The Philadelphia Freedoms put an exclamation point on their league-best 12-2 season by beating the No. 4 seeded New York Empire, 23-17, in the WTT regular season finale. The two teams will meet again in their WTT semifinal matchup on Saturday at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT on CBS Sports Network.
Philadelphia, the No. 1 seed last season, will be looking for revenge against New York who beat them in the last match of the regular season to qualify for the playoffs, 21-16, and again as the No. 4 seed in the semifinals, 24-18.
Philadelphia jumped out early with a dominant 5-1 win in Men's Singles behind Taylor Fritz, but New York would not go quietly.
In the second set, the most electrifying of the match, the Empire's Coco Vandeweghe came all the way back from 4-0 down to 2020 Australian Open Champion Sofia Kenin to win in a tiebreaker, 5-4.
Fritz Martin and Taylor Townsend would extend Philadelphia's lead with a 5-3 win in the third in Mixed Doubles, only to have Vandeweghe and Nicole Melichar close the gap slightly in the fourth, winning a tiebreaker in Women's Doubles to make it 18-14.
Martin and Fritz would finish the match with a 5-3 win in Men's Doubles over Skupski and Ulilses Blanch.
The Empire sat both their top Men's and Women's Singles players in Jack Sock (rest) and Kim Clijsters (abdominal), respectively, and expect to have both back in the lineup on Saturday.
NEW YORK EMPIRE HEAD COACH LUKE JENSEN ON THE MATCHUP WITH PHILADELPHIA: "We really have built our franchise the last couple of years around their model - strong, intelligent, forceful, talented women who can play all disciplines...We competed extremely well. We didn't roll over...We're going to bring our energy. We're going to bring our enthusiasm and then the game follows that. I really think they played extremely well tonight, but we just kept clawing the whole time and that's going to rebound us to the next match."
PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS HEAD COACH CRAIG KARDON ON FACING THE NEW YORK EMPIRE AGAIN ON SATURDAY: "Obviously they didn't take it as a playoff match, but we did. We got a lot of information from the match. We played them before but you never know what team they're going to put out there, but we know our team and we're comfortable with our players, and we're really looking forward to the challenge on Saturday."
NEW YORK EMPIRE'S COCO VANDEWEGHE ON THE ENERGY SHE BRINGS: "I've been a part of a team growing up, I played a lot of team sports. Win or lose you've got to be out there supporting your teammates and that's what I try to do best."
VANDEWEGHE ON SATURDAY'S MATCHUP WITH PHILADELPHIA: "Jack (Sock) will be ready to go, he got a day off today. We showed them a little of what we got but there's a lot more in the tank."
PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS defeat New York Empire, 23-17
Men's Singles: Taylor Fritz (Freedoms) def. Ulises Blanch (Empire), 5-1
Women's Singles: Coco Vandeweghe (Empire) def. Sofia Kenin (Freedoms), 5-4
Mixed Doubles: Fabrice Martin/Taylor Townsend (Freedoms) def. Neal Skupski/Nicole Melichar (Empire), 5-3
Women's Doubles: Vandeweghe/Melichar (Empire) def. Kenin/Caroline Dolehide (Freedoms), 5-4
Men's Doubles: Fritz/Martin (Freedoms) def. Blanch/Skupski (Empire), 5-3
Neal Skupski was hit in the back of the head by a 112 MPH serve from Empire teammate Ulises Blanch in the fifth set but was able to continue
WTT PLAYOFFS SET FOR THIS WEEKEND!
WHAT: The 45th season of World TeamTennis concludes this weekend from The Greenbrier in West Virginia with its semifinal and finals matchups featuring some of the biggest stars in tennis competing for the coveted King Trophy and a $1M playoff prize purse.
WHO: Tennis stars Sofia Kenin (Philadelphia Freedoms), Taylor Fritz (Philadelphia Freedoms), Taylor Townsend (Philadelphia Freedoms), Kim Clijsters (NY Empire), Jack Sock (NY Empire), Coco Vandeweghe (NY Empire), Sloane Stephens (Chicago Smash), Genie Bouchard (Chicago Smash), Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Chicago Smash), Tennys Sandgren (Orlando Storm) and Jessica Pegula (Orlando Storm), among others.
WHEN: Saturday, August 1 CBS Sports Network
2 PM ET/11 AM PT WTT Semifinal #1: No. 1 Philadelphia Freedoms vs. No. 4 New York Empire
5 PM ET/2 PM PT WTT Semifinal #2: No. 2 Orlando Storm vs. No. 3 Chicago Smash
Sunday, August 2 CBS Television Network
Noon ET/9 AM PT World TeamTennis Final (Semifinal winners)
WHERE TO WATCH: CBS Sports, the official television partner of World TeamTennis, will air the semifinals on CBS Sports Network and, for the first time in World TeamTennis history will air its finals LIVE on broadcast television when CBS Television Network showcases the WTT Finals on Sunday, August 2nd at Noon ET/9 AM PT.
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World TeamTennis Stories from July 30, 2020
- Philadelphia Handles New York in a Preview of the WTT Semifinals Match - Philadelphia Freedoms
- Philadelphia Freedoms Beat New York Empire, Set to Face Them Again in Wtt Playoff Semifinal on Saturday - New York Empire
- Orlando Storm Locks up No. 2 Seed, Takes out Washington to Close out Regular Season - Orlando Storm
- Lasers Finish 2020 Season Strong; Defeat Orange County 21-19 - Springfield Lasers
- Kastles Playoff Chances Eliminated After Heartbreaking Loss to Las Vegas 19-16 - Washington Kastles
- San Diego Ends Season on High Note, Upsets Playoff-Bound Chicago - San Diego Aviators
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