WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.V. (July 15, 2020) – Typically separated by less than 100 miles, World TeamTennis rivals New York and Philadelphia are now living under one roof, ordering meals from the same in-room dining menus, practicing on the same courts, sharing friendly smiles and other pleasantries when passing each other in the halls and on the practice courts. That all changed the moment the two teams stepped onto Center Court at Creekside at The Greenbrier in West Virginia as the New York Empire went on to win 25-17.
The Empire took the first two sets by means of tiebreakers, 5-4 each, with Neal Skupski and Jack Sock providing a little cushion by taking down the Freedoms Men’s Doubles team of Fabrice
Martin and Donald Young, 5-3, extending New York’s lead to 15-11.
The Women’s Singles set featured the Freedoms young phenom, Sofia Kenin, playing against one of her idols and Tennis Hall of Famer Kim Clijsters in a showdown that just a few years ago seemed unlikely to ever happen. Clijsters jumped to a 3-1 lead and with an ace had the Empire leading the set 4-2, but the 2020 Australian Open Champion wouldn’t allow her serve to be broken, forcing Clijsters to use her serve to win the set, 5-3.
The Empire’s Sock returned to the court in the final set against Philadelphia’s Taylor Fritz, winning 5-3 to see the Empire take home every set in all five different disciplines, winning the match 25-17.
Kim Clijsters on the Empire winning every set: “We realized how good they were… and felt we had to bring it from the start. We didn’t have a letdown. In World TeamTennis, that type of energy is really important. You have to be ready from the start and we all had that mindset today.”
Kim Clijsters on Sofia Kenin: “I’ve really enjoyed watching her, win the Australian Open but already before that. Just seeing her grow into being a Grand Slam Champion has been nice to see. She’s so young and has so much more to gain.”
Sofia Kenin on playing against one of her idols, Kim Clijsters: “Unfortunately, I didn’t get the win, but she obviously played well. I’m really happy to see her back on the court healthy and playing well. I’m truly happy that she came back. It shows that it doesn’t matter what age you’re at, you always can come back and do what you do best. She’s in great shape and playing really well.”
New York Empire defeat PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS, 25-17
Mixed Doubles – Neal Skupski/Kim Clijsters (NYE) def. Fabrice Martin/Taylor Townsend (PHL), 5-4
Women’s Doubles – Sabine Lisicki/Kveta Peschke (NYE) def. Caroline Dolehide/Townsend (PHL), 5-4
Men’s Doubles – Skupski/Jack Sock (NYE) def. Martin/Donald Young (PHL), 5-3
Women’s Singles – Clijsters (NYE) def. Sofia Kenin (PHL), 5-3
Men’s Singles – Sock (NYE) def. Taylor Fritz (PHL), 5-3
- 3,317 – The number of days between Kim Clijsters last Australian Open win in 2011 and Sofia Kenin’s first, this past January 31