Bobby Reynolds found himself in a pressure situation. And then another. But he didn’t mind.
The Washington Kastles’ “closer” needed a tiebreaker to seal the game’s fifth match and a 20-18 victory over the visiting New York Sportimes in Washington’s World Team Tennis home opener on Thursday night.
Reynolds entered the match with New York’s Jesse Witten with the Kastles clinging to a one-point team lead, a margin that held as each player won four games to force the tiebreaker.
But with the Kastles’ 18-game win streak dating from last seaosn on the line and a newly hung championship banner at his back, Reynolds eased in the tiebreaker.
He rolled to three straight points before winning the tiebreaker, 5-2 .
“There is a lot of pressure, but I like that pressure,” Reynolds said. “I love going out there, fighting and giving it my all, and hopefully some good things happen.”
He scored his second point with a strong overhand that sent the ball into the stadium’s seats. His third point came on a beautifully placed backhand that fell just inside the line.
“If you can get those first two points that’s a lot of pressure on him,” Reynolds said. “You get one of his return points and then I’m able to return for the match.”
With the win, the Kastles (3-0) stretched their winning streak to19 games. Before the game, the team hung the banner commemorating last season’s league title and received championship rings.
The presence of Martina Hingis was not enough for New York. Hingis, a winner of 14 Grand Slam titles, split her two doubles matches before easing past Kastles newcomer Anastasia Rodionova in the women’s singles match.
Rodionova was able to stay close early on, capturing two quick games before fading. Her backhand and strong return were effective until Hingis was able to stretch the court, keeping Rodionova on the back end.
The Kastles split the first two doubles matches and entered the men’s doubles trailing 9-8. Leander Paes and Reynolds rolled to a 5-0 win over the Sportimes’ Robert Kendrick and Witten.
In the opening match, Paes and Rodionova teamed to win at mixed doubles, 5-4. Rodionova then played alongside her younger sister, Arina, as the Kastles fell in women’s doubles, 5-3.