WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.V. (July 13, 2020) – The New York Empire faced six-time King Trophy winners, the Washington Kastles, in a World TeamTennis matinee match that resembled a heavyweight slugfest. While neither team backed down, momentum for either team was difficult to come by.
Knotted at 16 heading into the match’s final set, men’s doubles, the Empire appeared to have the match in hand with their duo of Neal Skupski and Jack Sock holding a 20-19 lead and three match points, but could not break the Kastles’ Nick Monroe’s serve. With the match tied at 20-20, the two squads entered a nine-point tiebreaker bringing socially distanced fans to their feet. The Kastles duo of Marcelo Arevalo and Monroe would hold on, stealing the win in the tiebreaker, 5-3, for the Kastles first win of the season, 21-20, over the Empire.
“They got like seven or eight break points and they couldn’t convert one,” said Arevalo. “That was the key. We stayed calm even when we were facing break points and as soon as we got out of that tough moment, I think that was the key. The tiebreaker, we just played amazing.”
Making her New York Empire debut, former World No. 1 Kim Clijsters hit on all cylinders early with a 5-2 women’s singles set win over the Washington Kastles’ Bernarda Pera.
Washington Kastles def. NEW YORK EMPIRE 21-20
Men’s Singles – Marcelo Arevalo (WAS) def. Jack Sock (NYE), 5-3
Women’s Singles – Kim Clijsters (NYE) def. Bernarda Pera (WAS), 5-2
Mixed Doubles – Neal Skupski/Kveta Peschke (NYE) def. Arevalo/Arina Rodionova (WAS), 5-4
Women’s Doubles – Pera/Arina Rodionova (WAS) def. Clijsters/Peschke (NYE), 5-3
Men’s Doubles – Nick Monroe/Arevalo (WAS) def. Skupski/Sock (NYE), 5-4
- The New York Empire were 0-9 when facing break points