Playing with a fan club in the stands, Megan Moulton-Levy got more than she bargained for in Monday’s World Team Tennis match. Though her Boston Lobsters lost to the Washington Kastles, 25-9, Moulton-Levy was the unexpected star.
“I had about 70 people here,” said Moulton-Levy, who lives in Woodbridge. “I think they got a lot more than they bargained for as well.”
After Boston’s Sharon Fichman suffered a knee injury in warmups, Moulton-Levy had to take her place in the singles match. As Fichman had her knee iced, Kastles players consoled her on the bench. Fichman’s tennis idol is Martina Hingis, and she was hoping to play Hingis in the women’s singles set.
Instead, she sat with her knee elevated and watched Moulton-Levy take on the five-time Grand Slam champion. Moulton-Levy, an all-American at William and Mary, is a doubles-only player on the WTA Tour. She has played one singles match on the Tour since 2010.
But Moulton-Levy held her own, forcing Hingis into a tiebreaking game. On set point, Moulton-Levy sent a ball just a few inches out, giving the set to Hingis, 5-4. Hingis breathed a sigh of relief walking back to the Kastles’ bench. Moulton-Levy was greeted by teammates embracing her. “I’m so proud of you,” Fichman said.
“This is someone I grew up watching, so to be on the court with her, competing against her was such an honor,” Moulton-Levy said. “It was a blast.”
Moulton-Levy is 5 feet tall with broad, muscular shoulders — looks more befitting a gymnast than a tennis player. With every point she won, she smiled and sent a fist-bump gesture to the Lobsters’ bench. With every dazzling shot Hingis made, Moulton-Levy nodded with respect toward her opponent.
“She’s playing better than I would have,” Fichman told her Boston teammates on the bench during the set. Kastles owner Mark Ein approached her after the set to tell her the set was “awesome.”
“She really started hitting some,” Hingis said. “I’m glad I actually got it home at the end.”
Fichman ultimately wasn’t up to playing in women’s doubles, and the Lobsters had to forfeit the set, giving the Kastles five points in the match score. Washington had a 20-5 lead going into the final set, mixed doubles, and Moulton-Levy helped get the Lobsters out to a 3-1 lead.
The Kastles’ duo of Leander Paes and Hingis ultimately won the set, 5-4, but not before Paes’s overhead slam accidentally sent the ball into Moulton-Levy’s arm, completing a bizarre match for her.
“I’ve got a bruise coming in but whatever,” she said. “This is what we do.”