World TeamTennis

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"TeamTennis" redirects here. For the general topic, see Team tennis.
World TeamTennis
Current season, competition or edition:
2014 World TeamTennis season
World TeamTennis logo.svg
Sport Tennis
Founded 1973
CEO Ilana Kloss
No. of teams 7
Country  United States
Most recent champion(s) Washington Kastles
Most titles Sacramento Capitals (6)
TV partner(s) Tennis Channel
ESPN2
Official website www.wtt.com

World TeamTennis is a coed professional tennis league played with a team format in the United States.

Originally played on a no-line court, each match consists of five sets. Each set features a different configuration (men's singles, men's doubles, women's singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles). Prior to each match, coaches decide the order in which the sets will be played. Each player on a team usually plays in at least one of the five sets. Scoring is no-advantage; there is no requirement to win a game by two scores; at deuce (40-40), whoever scores the next point wins the game. The first team to reach five games wins each set. A nine-point tiebreaker is played, if a set reaches four-all. One point is awarded for each game won. If necessary, Overtime and a Supertiebreaker are played to determine the winner of the match.

The league's season normally takes place in the summer months. Players from the ATP and WTA take a break from their tour schedules to partake in World TeamTennis.

History[edit]

First league[edit]

The World Team Tennis (WTT) Professional Tennis league was founded in 1973 by four people: Larry King (owner of San Francisco Golden Gaters), Dennis Murphy (founder of the World Hockey Association), Fred Barman and Jordan Kaiser. The league began play in May 1974 with George MacCall as Commissioner of the 16 teams: Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo-Toronto, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Florida (Miami), Hawaii (Honolulu), Houston, Los Angeles, Minnesota (Minneapolis-St.Paul), New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco.

The original league format included a four-colored tennis court, a 44-contest season, and teams of at least two men and two women. A match consisted of the first player or team to win five games, with a nine-point tiebreaker at four-all, and no-ad scoring in women’s singles and doubles, men’s singles and doubles, and mixed doubles. This made WTT the first professional sports league to give equal weight to each man and woman competing for their teams.[1]

WTT also held annual All-Star games for the seasons from 1975 to 1978. Marty Riessen (Cleveland) and Greer Stevens (Boston) won Most Valuable Players (MVP) honors for the inaugural all-star gala won by the East, 28-21, at the Inglewood Forum in Los Angeles. In 1976 the West All-Stars, led by Chris Evert and Betty Stöve, capped an incredible comeback when they defeated Billie Jean King and Evonne Goolagong in a super tiebreaker, 5-4, giving the West a stunning 28-27 overtime victory at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. After trailing at one stage by 24-17, the West, led by Stove and Dianne Fromholtz, won the final set plus two games in overtime to draw the West All-Stars even at 27.[2] Tom Okker (San Francisco) and Dianne Fromholtz (Los Angeles) won MVP honors that year. In the 1977 All Star Game held at the San Diego Sports Arena, Björn Borg (Cleveland-Pittsburgh) and Betty Stove (Seattle-Portland) captured MVP awards as the East bested the West, 23-18. WTT held its final All-Star event in Las Vegas in 1978.[3]

WTT was the first professional sports experience for Jerry Buss (eventual owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL's Los Angeles Kings), and for Bob Kraft (eventual owner of the NFL's New England Patriots and MLS's New England Revolution).

Elton John wrote the theme song "Philadelphia Freedom" for his favorite team.[citation needed]

The first league ended play in 1978.

Second league[edit]

The league resumed play in 1981 as TeamTennis and fluctuated between four and twelve teams. In 1992, the name was changed back to World Team Tennis (WTT). In 2005, twelve teams competed.

Billie Jean King became Commissioner and major owner of the league in 1984, following her retirement from tournament tennis competition. She retired as Commissioner in February 2001 and Ilana Kloss became the new WTT commissioner, a position she still holds.

In 2013, World TeamTennis was renamed Mylan World TeamTennis after Mylan, a generics and specialty pharmaceuticals company, announced a three-year agreement to serve as the title sponsor of WTT.[4]

Many top tennis players have participated in the league over the years, including: Billie Jean King, Rod Laver, Björn Borg, Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Evonne Goolagong, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova,[5] Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters and Martina Hingis.

Timeline[edit]

1974–1978[edit]

1981–1991[edit]

League play resumed in 1981 as TeamTennis with four California teams, expanding to eight teams in 1982. In 1985 a recreational league for non-professionals was added, which was co-branded with the professional league.

1992–1999[edit]

In 1992, the current name World TeamTennis was restored.

2000–present[edit]

In 2000 the current logo was adopted.

In 2005 & 2006 the league consisted of 12 teams and in 2007 the Hartford FoxForce ceased operations.

Prior to the 2008 season, the Houston Wranglers ceased operations and the Washington Kastles joined the league.

In the 2009 season, 10 teams competed: Boston, NY Buzz, NY Sportime, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Kansas City, Newport Beach, Sacramento, Springfield, and St. Louis.

Sacramento has won the year-end Championship six times.

Before the start of the 2011 season the New York Buzz and the New York Sportimes merged into one New York team, the Sportimes.[8]

During the 2011 season the Washington Kastles completed a perfect 16–0 schedule, winning their second championship in three seasons.

In 2012 The Washington Kastles completed their second consecutive perfect season, going 16–0 for the second season in a row to become the first professional sports franchise to go two complete seasons without a loss. Their 32-consecutive-match winning streak is one shy of the major professional sports record of 33 consecutive wins set by the 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. They began the next season with 2 wins making their streak 34 games, setting the new record.

Following the 2012 season, the Kansas City Explorers relocated to Irving, Texas and became the Texas Wild.

In 2013, World TeamTennis was renamed Mylan World TeamTennis after Mylan signed a three-year deal as the title sponsor.

On November 21, 2013, the Orange County Breakers were sold, relocated to Austin, Texas and renamed the Austin Aces.[9]

On January 16, 2014, the New York Sportimes were sold, relocated to San Diego and renamed the San Diego Aviators.[10]

On February 4, 2014, the Sacramento Capitals were relocated to Las Vegas and renamed the Las Vegas Neon.[11]

On March 5, 2014 the Las Vegas Neon franchise was terminated, leaving the league with seven teams.[12]

Teams[edit]

Eastern Conference
Team City Stadium
Boston Lobsters Manchester, MA Joan Norton Tennis Center at the Manchester Athletic Club
Philadelphia Freedoms Villanova, PA The Pavilion
Washington Kastles Washington, D.C. Charles E. Smith Center
Western Conference
Austin Aces Austin, TX Cedar Park Center
San Diego Aviators San Diego, CA Valley View Casino Center
Springfield Lasers Springfield, MO Cooper Tennis Complex
Texas Wild Irving, TX Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas

Past Champions[edit]

  • 1974 Denver Racquets 2, Philadelphia Freedoms 0 (best-of-three match series)
  • 1975 Pittsburgh Triangles 2, San Francisco Golden Gaters 1 (best-of-three match series)
  • 1976 New York Sets 91, San Francisco Golden Gaters 57
  • 1977 New York Apples 55, Phoenix Racquets 39
  • 1978 Los Angeles Strings 108, Boston Lobsters 93
  • 1979-1980 Play suspended
  • 1981 Los Angeles Strings (regular season champion, no playoffs)
  • 1982 Dallas Stars 27, Phoenix Sunsets 22
  • 1983 Chicago Fyre (regular season champion, no playoffs)
  • 1984 San Diego Buds 30, Long Beach Breakers 13
  • 1985 San Diego Buds 25, St. Louis Slims 24
  • 1986 San Antonio Racquets 25, Sacramento Capitols 23
  • 1987 Charlotte Heat 25, San Antonio Racquets 20
  • 1988 Charlotte Heat 27, New Jersey Stars 22
  • 1989 San Antonio Racquets 27, Sacramento Capitols 25
  • 1990 Los Angeles Strings 27, Raleigh Edge 16
  • 1991 Atlanta Thunder 27, Los Angeles Strings 16
  • 1992 Atlanta Thunder 30, Newport Beach Dukes 17
  • 1993 Wichita Advantage 26, Newport Beach Dukes 23
  • 1994 New Jersey Stars 28, Idaho Sneakers 25
  • 1995 New Jersey Stars 28, Atlanta Thunder 20
  • 1996 St. Louis Aces 27, Delaware Smash 16
  • 1997 Sacramento Capitals (regular season champion, championship match rained out)
  • 1998 Sacramento Capitals 30, New York OTBzz 13
  • 1999 Sacramento Capitals 23, Springfield Lasers 15
  • 2000 Sacramento Capitals 21, Delaware Smash 20
  • 2001 Philadelphia Freedoms 20, Springfield Lasers 18
  • 2002 Sacramento Capitals 21, New York Buzz 13
  • 2003 Delaware Smash 21, Sacramento Capitals 14
  • 2004 Newport Beach Breakers 23, Delaware Smash 17
  • 2005 New York Sportimes 21, Newport Beach Breakers 18[13]
  • 2006 Philadelphia Freedom 21, Newport Beach Breakers 14
  • 2007 Sacramento Capitals 24, New York Buzz 20
  • 2008 New York Buzz 21, Kansas City Explorers 18
  • 2009 Washington Kastles 23, Springfield Lasers 20
  • 2010 Kansas City Explorers 21, New York Sportimes 18
  • 2011 Washington Kastles 23, St. Louis Aces 19
  • 2012 Washington Kastles 20, Sacramento Capitals 19
  • 2013 Washington Kastles 25, Springfield Lasers 12
  • 2014 Washington Kastles 25, Springfield Lasers 13

Sources[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World TeamTennis Firsts". World TeamTennis. Retrieved 2009-12-17. 
  2. ^ "Chrissie Evert in 1976 World Team Tennis All-Stars Match". chrisevertdotnet (Youtube). Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  3. ^ "Steve Dimitry's WTT Web Page". Steve Dimitry. Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  4. ^ "World TeamTennis and Mylan Announce Three-Year Collaboration". www.wtt.com. October 16, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE: TENNIS; King Wants Navratilova to Finish Year". The New York Times. 1994-07-15. 
  6. ^ a b c "Struggling WTT Adds Three New Franchises". The San Bernardino County Sun. December 1, 1978. p. 65. 
  7. ^ "WTT:Virginia Wade". World TeamTennis. Retrieved 2009-12-17.  References both "Sets" and "Apples".
  8. ^ "New York Sportimes to Play Two WTT Matches in Albany This Summer As World Team Tennis' New York Teams Consolidate" http://www.wtt.com/page.aspx?article_id=2411
  9. ^ "Mylan World TeamTennis team relocates to Austin; Andy Roddick to star on team" http://www.austinacestennis.com/teams/article.aspx?article_id=4160
  10. ^ "Mylan World TeamTennis team headed to San Diego" http://www.sandiegoaviators.com/teams/article.aspx?article_id=4247
  11. ^ "Mylan World TeamTennis team relocates franchise to Las Vegas" http://www.lasvegasneontennis.com/teams/article.aspx?article_id=4290
  12. ^ "LEAGUE STATEMENT ON LAS VEGAS FRANCHISE TERMINATION" http://www.wtt.com/page.aspx?article_id=4330
  13. ^ "Steve Dimitry's WTT Web Page". source data for 1981-2005. tennis-reference. Archived from the original on 2005-02-22. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  14. ^ "USTA National Campus Championship". Retrieved 2009-12-02.