Archive for July, 2015

Kastles “Free” the Freedoms From The Playoff Picture

Well, the Kastles made sure that the Philadelphia Freedoms were truly free – the Kastles made sure the Freedoms were not encumbered by having to play in the WTT Finals on August 2, 2015 by defeating the Freedoms 25 – 9 at the Smith Center.

Thank goodness there was tennis in Washington tonight and the Kastles started out the evening by taking Mixed Doubles 5-1 with Martina Hingis and Leander Paes breaking the Freedoms serve twice in a mere 15 minutes for all six games.

Next up was Women’s Singles and it took Madison Brengle a little longer (22 minutes) to take out Coco Vandeweghe including a break of serve by a score of 5-2.

Sam Querrey and Leander Paes then took only 13 minutes to defeat Robby Ginepri and Marcelo Melo in Men’s Doubles 5-2 including a single break of serve.

Anastasia “A-Rod” Rodionova and Martina Hingis defeated Taylor Townsend and Coco Vandeweghe in a nine point tiebreaker 5-4.

With the Kastles up 20-9 the only event left was Men’s Singles – Sam Querrey versus Robby Ginepri.  Sam took out Robby in a mere 11 minutes and recorded a “bagel” in the final set of the evening to win the match 25-9.

This marks the 5th straight (and 6th overall) Eastern Division Championship Title for my beloved Washington Kastles.  This sets up the Kastles quest for a 5th straight WTT Championship title on August 2, 2015 at the Smith Center at GWU.

This won’t be an easy as it might seem – the Kastles face the team with the best record in the WTT, the Austin Aces in the final on Sunday.

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Kastles Lose in Austin then “Poach” the Lobsters at Home

The Kastles won all three Doubles sets in Austin on July 28.  They were victorious in Men’s Doubles 5-4 and Women’s Doubles and after two events led by a score of 10-7.  Then Sam Querrey faced the 2015 Male MVP Teymuraz Gabashvili in Men’s Singles and was bageled 5-0.  At intermission the Aces led 12-10.  But the Kastles came out of the intermission and took Mixed Doubles 5-2 to go ahead by a score of 15-14.  But Elina Svitolina proved too much for Madison Brengle and the Kastles lost the final set 5-1 and the overall score was 19-16 with the Aces victorious.

But the Kastles rebounded on July 29 by taking the Men’s Doubles 5-3, Women’s Singles 5-1 and a big finish by Sam Querrey to take Men’s Singles by a  score of 5-0 to win the event 22-14.

Now on to the Philadelpha Freedoms and the Eastern Division Championship.

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“Kardiac Kastles” Are Back!!! Fans Need Defibrillators

Well it appears that the “Kardiac Kastles” have returned to the Smith Center and the fans got fired up and generated enough energy to self power the defibrillators that were necessary for the fan base in the Smith Center the evening of July 27.

The Kastles seemed out of sorts when they took the court on Monday evening to face the California Dream.  From the start of the Mixed Doubles event the fans knew something was off with the Kastles being broken early on and losing the first event 5-3.  Then Martina Hingis took the court in Women’s Singles and lost to Jarka Gajdosova 5-1, an uncharacteristic set from Martina.  At the end of the first two events the Kastles trailed by a score of 10-4 – something “Kastles Nation” is not used to.  Sam Querrey and Leander Paes took the court and battled to take Men’s Doubles 5-4 in a tiebreak to bring the score to 14-9 at the break.  We’re not sure what happened during the break but the Kastles were a different team when play resumed.  Despite the fact that we had a chair umpire that made up the rules as the match went on, our Kastles’ Women’s Doubles pair of Anastasia Rodionova and Martina Hingis bested the Dream 5-1 to bring the score closer – 15-14 with Men’s Singles remaining.  Tennys Sandgren was serving with the score at 2-3 and on serve when the chair umpire made up yet another rule that had everyone with puzzled looks on their faces and Murphy Jensen livid.  Even Tennys had a sheepish look on his face at first – I suspect he realized he should have lost the point in question but he did not do the sportsman like thing and concede the point.  Instead he got bolder and when the crowd booed the chair umpire and his decision, Tennys decided to talk trash and basically taunt the fans.  It’s funny how Karma works – Sandgren managed to double fault and ended up losing the game for a service break and permit Sam Querrey to serve for the set at 4-2.  This meant that if Sam held serve that the Kastles would win the match with no extended play or tie breaks.  Sam lost the first two points and but he regrouped and ended up winning the game, event and match with a “Mylan Ace” that had Sandgren standing on the court with his mouth open and him drawing on the court with his racquet no where near when the ace made contact with the service box.

The Kastles prevailed 19-17 and go into their match in Austin against the 10-2 Aces Tuesday night with an emotional win and a record of 9-3.  If the Kastles can defeat Austin on Tuesday night and Boston on Wednesday night, the Kastles would have the overall best record of all WTT teams even if the Aces ended up with the sam record as the Kastles.  The Kastles would have the edge in head to head record over the Aces since the Kastles and Aces have split the matches 1-1 so far this year.

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Kastles Opponent From 2014 Final Out of the Playoff Picture

The Springfield Lasers from a year ago are but a memory.  The Kastles defeated the Lasers 24-16 Sunday evening to bring the Kastles record to 8-3.  The evening started out slow with Martina & Leander winning Mixed Doubles 5-4 in a tiebreak.  Then Alison Riske managed to beat Martina 5-4 in a tiebreak to win Women’s Singles.  Then Sam Querrey and Leander Paes took out Michael Russel and Andre Begemann in Men’s Doubles 5-0 – yet another “bagel” for the Kastles.  A-Rod and Martina solidly defeated Anna-Lena Goenefeld and Alison Riske in Women’s Doubles by a score of 5-2 and the Kastles went into the last event, Men’s Singles up by a score of 19-11.  Michael Russell managed to wind the Men’s Singles 5-4 in yet another tiebreak to force Extended Play.  Russell served the first game of Extended Play and Sam broke his serve and ended the match with a final score of 24-16.

This brought the Kastles’ record to 8-3 with the team building momentum for the playoffs starting on Thursday, July 30 at the Smith Center – opponent TBD.

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Kastles Guaranteed Best Record In East With Boston Loss

The California Dream rolled into Boston and even though the Bryan Brothers were shockingly defeated in Men’s Doubles by Jason Jung and Scott Lipsky the Dream managed to beat the Lobsters 21-19.  That win means that Boston can do no better than to tie the Kastles record wise (which would mean the Kastles would have to go 0-4 for the rest of the season and the Lobsters would have to 3-0) – and the Kastles would have the better record based on head to head meetings.  The same goes for the Philadelphia Freedom.  The best they can do is tie the Kastles record wise and the Kastles would have the better record based on head to head meetings.

So there will be tennis at the Smith Center on Thursday, July 30, 2015 when the Kastles will host Philadelphia or Boston in the Eastern Conference Championship.  If the Kastles prevail over their opponent they would host the Western Conference Champion on Sunday, August 2, 2015 at 11:30 AM for the WTT Championship match and a chance for a Five-Peat.

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Kastles Finally Rolling – My Bad For Not Posting For So Long

Well, first of all, my bad for not posting since the Kastles took the opening match of the season in Boston by besting the Lobsters 20-17.

The season has been up and down and way up now since then.  The Kastles lost the second match of the season, at home, to the Austin Aces 22-17 even with Venus Williams playing for the Kastles.  Austin went on to win the first 8 matches of their season before dropping two in a row, the second to the Kastles tonight.  The Kastles then won away at Springfield by a score of 21-16 to better their record to 2-1.  They then returned home and lost to San Diego 22-18.  That’s the first time in a long time that the Kastles have  lost back to back home matches.

The Kastles then won their next match against Philadelphia in Philadelphia 21-20 thanks to a Dennis Kudla final set win of 5-4 over Robby Ginepri.  They also won at home against Philadelphia the next night by a score of 23-6, tying the largest margin win in the history of the franchise, setting a record for the least number of games won by an opponent in a match and posting “bagels” in the Men’s Doubles, Women’s Singles and Men’s Singles sets to round out the match.  Dennis and Leander beat Marcelo Melo and Robby Ginepri 5-0, Madison Brengle beat Taylor Townsend 5-0 and then Dennis Kudla beat Robby Gineptri 5-0 to round out the match.  And in only about 2 hours.  This brought the Kastles to and overall record of 4-2.

Then next night the Kastles played Philly for a third time and ended up losing the match 18-16 to bring their record to 4-3.

The Kastles returned home to play a home-away set of two matches against Boston.  The Kastles beat Boston 25-13 in front of a crowd of 4275 fans by sweeping all five events.  Unfortunately Serena Williams was injured and could not play for the Kastles and Madison Brengle played in her absence.  It also was Sam Querrey’s home debut for the Kastles. This brought their record to 5-3.

The Kastles went to Boston and beat Boston yet again by a score of 25-14, again taking all five events and only allowing Boston to win one more game than the match before.  This brought the Kastles record to 6-3.

The Kastles then went to Austin to play the Aces, a team that had beaten them earlier in the season and has only a single loss in the season.  The Kastles handed Austin their second loss of the season (their second loss in a row) by a score of 22-14 only dropping Women’s Singles.  Going into the match Teymuraz Gabashvili of the Aces was leading the league in Men’s Singles.  Not so after the Friday evening match.  Sam Querrey won the Men’s Singles and took over the league lead in Men’s Singles with a winning percentage of 0.625 to Gabashvili’s 0.577.  After the Friday evening match the Kastles lead the league in Men’s Doubles, three Kastles’ men are in the top 4 in the Men’s Doubles Player Standings and the Kastles also lead the league in Women’s Doubles and are also 1,2 in the Women’s Doubles Players Standings.

So after Friday night, the Kastles are guaranteed to be in the playoffs – they are two match wins away from having the best record in the Eastern Division which would get home court advantage for the Eastern Division Playoff Match.  If the Kastles can win the Eastern Division title yet again, the WTT Championship match would be in Washington on August 2.


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Wimbledon is Over, Kastles Start in Boston With a Win

Well “Breakfast At Wimbledon” was certainly something else.  Novak Djokovic successfully defended his Wimbledon Men’s Singles title by beating Roger Federer in 4 sets with a score of 7-6(1), 6-7 (10), 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 45 minutes.

And then the Mixed Doubles finalists took the court – our very own Washington Kastles Dream Team, Leander Paes and Martina Hingis.  They were the 7th seeded pair meeting the 5th seeded pair, Alexander Peya of Austria and Timea Babos of Hungary.  It was a complete whirlwind of a match.  Leander and Martina took the first set in 19 minutes by a score of 6-1.  David Mercer and Samantha Smith called the match for ESPN3.  After the first set, David Mercer said that the roof was closed but there was a tornado beneath it – Leander and Martina.

They then followed that first set up by winning the second set and the championship in 21 minutes by the same score of 6-1.  Total match time of 40 minutes and it’s another Mixed Doubles title for both Leander and Martina at a major.  They won the title and did not lose one set in the entire tournament.  They have won two out of the three Mixed Doubles titles this year (earlier winning the Australian Open Mixed Doubles title ).

This was Martina’s first Mixed Doubles title at Wimbledon.  This goes along with her one Women’s Singles title at Wimbledon in 1997 and her three Ladies Doubles titles at Wimbledon in 1996, 1998 and 2015.  It was Leander’s fourth Mixed Doubles title at Wimbledon, each with a different partner.  Sam Smith referred to Leander and Martina as the Torvill and Dean of the tennis court.  And when the match was over, she made the statement “Swiss mastery combined with Indian brilliance”.


Out of the five titles up for grabs at Wimbledon, three of the titles were won by 2015 Washington Kastles team members – Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles.

Rajeev Ram stepped in as a substitute for the Kastles when they played in Boston against the Boston Lobsters to start off the season.  The team of Madison Brengle, Denis Kudla, Anastasia Rodionova and Rajeev Ram beat the Lobsters 20-17 so the team is off to a 1-0 start.  Tuesday Leander will be back with the team and Venus Williams will be in town playing for my beloved Kastles.

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Kastles Day at Wimbledon – Double Whammy – Serena & Martina

Well, Serena has Serena Slam 2.0 and is now needs the U.S. Open this fall for the calendar year Grand Slam.  Serena gets major number 21 over Garbiñe Murguruza in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.  Serena is now only one major away from equaling Steffi Graf.



And if that wasn’t enough today, Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza took the Women’s Doubles title over Ekaterina Markarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia 5-7, 7-6 (4), 7-5.  They lost the first set by being broken while serving to stay in the set and force a tiebreak.  They won the second set in a tiebreak and then went down a break on their second service game and the set went to a score of 4-1 favor of the Russian pair.  Both teams held their next service games to make the set 5-2.  Hingis/Mirza held serve to make the set 5-3.  In the 9th game, Hingis/Mirza broke through and broke serve and consolidated that break to make the set 5-5.  Due to lack of light they had to close the roof about a 20 minutes delay in the match.  Play resumed after the roof was closed and the players warmed up again and Hingis and Mirza promptly broke Markarova/Vesnina to go up 6-5 and serve for the championship.  Hingis/Mirza took the championship with a hold at love to win the third and final set 7-5.



Martina won her last doubles championship at Wimbledon in 1998 at the age of 17.  She won this doubles championship at Wimbledon in 2015 at the age of 34.  And Martina still has tomorrow with Leander in the Mixed Doubles Final…Stay tuned…..

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Surprise (NOT) – Serena Crushes Sharapova

Big Surprise – Serena took out Maria Sharapova in straight sets 6-2, 6-4 and it didn’t ever look like Maria was in the match.  It has been 11 years since Maria has been able to beat Serena – and I hope it never happens again.

And now Serena meets Garbiñe Muguruza in the Wimbledon Final going for her second Serena Slam and hopefully the calendar year Grand Slam.  All I can think of is the song by The Knack “My Sharona” which then lends itself to morph into “My Serena”.

I really want Serena to win major number 21 and be only one away from equaling Steffi Graf – and hopefully get to meet her when she plays for the Kastles on July 21…


And the Kastles Dream Team of Martina Hingis and Leander Paes were seeded 7 in Mixed Doubles and they took out the number 1 seeds, Mike Bryan and Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-4 to advance to another Mixed Doubles Final.  Thanks goodness Leander and Martina finally listened to us Kastles fans that were pestering them to play Mixed together at the Majors since the 2013 World Team Tennis season.


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Serena In the Semis & Only 7 Days Until Kastles Tennis

Well the “Kastles Sisters” met one another in the Round of 16 and Serena won in straight sets.  I really am sorry that the sisters had to play one another so early in the tournament.

But then Serena had to regroup and play Vika in the Quarters one day later.  I was quite upset when Serena lost the first set.  But in true Serena “never quit” style, Serena came back and took the second and third sets to get to the Semi-Finals against Maria Sharapova.  So Thursday are the Semis and if Serena beats Maria she will be in the final on Saturday.

Then we will see Venus next Tuesday in the home opener of for the Washington Kastles at the Smith Center at GWU.

Go Kastles!!!

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