Washington Kastles stay unbeaten in World Team Tennis by beating Philadelphia

July 13

Bobby Reynolds led the Washington Kastles to their second straight big win over the Philadelphia Freedoms on Sunday night, 23-14 in World Team Tennis action at Smith Center.

Reynolds beat Frank Dancevic, 5-1, as Washington took four of five sets to improve to 6-0 on the season and run its winning streak to 18 dating from last year.

The victory came three nights after the Kastles beat the Freedoms, 25-10, which left Reynolds a bit surprised considering the rankings of players on both teams.

“You know who you’re up against and you know their rankings,” Reynolds said. “It’s amazing when we all get together, it’s like a different gear we all get into individually and as a team.”

Dancevic is a top-100 singles player and Reynolds is ranked outside of the top 400, but that mattered little in Reynolds’s victory.

On the women’s side, Martina Hingis used to be a No. 1 singles player but hasn’t played singles outside of team tennis since 2007. Taylor Townsend is currently ranked in the top 150, but it was the Kastles’ Hingis who prevailed in a 5-1 victory. Hingis has won 20 of 22 games overall and 10 of 11 against Townsend in World Team Tennis competition.

In a women’s doubles match featuring Philadelphia’s Liezel Huber and Townsend against Anastasia Rodionova and Hingis, Huber unloaded an overhead smash that sent the ball into Rodionova’s side.

Rodionova sent hard shots back Huber’s way, but didn’t get her revenge until the fourth game, launching a ball into her opponent’s back.

Rodionova shrugged and said, “Sorry.”

“I feel like she had a lot of room to put away the ball, but she went for the body,” Rodionova said. “I just wanted to send a message.”

The teams traded games and were tied at 3. After an ace in the seventh game, Hingis mouthed “Finally” toward the Kastles’ bench. Hingis and Rodionova cruised from there, winning the seventh and eighth games for a 5-3 victory.

Leander Paes and Hingis defeated Marcelo Melo and Huber, 5-4, in mixed doubles, while Washington’s only loss on Sunday game in men’s doubles, as Dancevic and Melo defeated Paes and Reynolds, 5-3. The Kastles had won 20 straight sets in men’s doubles over the course of five matches.

The Kastles are the only undefeated team in the league, and they’re the only team in their division with a winning record.

“Team chemistry is what does the magic,” Rodionova said. “We play for the whole team.”

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