The Washington Kastles won their third consecutive World Team Tennis championship and fourth in the past five years with a 25-12 win over the Springfield (Mo.) Lasers on Sunday evening in front of 2,670 fans at Kastles Stadium at the Wharf.
After a nearly two-hour rain delay, the Kastles won every set over a Lasers squad bolstered by the call-up of Andy Roddick, who appeared in six matches for them during the regular season.
“It’d be great if we had eight teams like [the Kastles],” Roddick, a part-owner of WTT, said after the loss. “They deserve the success they get. They put a lot into it, and it’s a great atmosphere.”
Fan favorite Bobby Reynolds set the tone in men’s singles, breaking the Lasers’ Rik De Voest three times in a 5-1 win.
Martina Hingis and Anastasia Rodionova had a tougher time in women’s doubles against Vania King and Alisa Kleybanova. Hingis and Rodionova eventually broke service in the seventh game on the way to a 5-3 win.
Reynolds and Leander Paes paired in men’s doubles. With Paes serving for the set, the Lasers subbed in Roddick, originally scheduled to play only mixed doubles. A highlight-reel rally followed, but Paes and Reynolds put Springfield away, 5-2, before Roddick had a chance to serve.
Then it was Hingis’s turn in women’s singles, where she topped Kleybanova, 5-2.
That set up a mixed doubles showdown of Kleybanova and Roddick against Hingis and Paes.
During the second game, Roddick served and Hingis returned. The Kastles won all three points with Hingis at the baseline, though they couldn’t find a fourth and fell just short of breaking.
The second time Roddick served, the Kastles did break, buoyed by a return from Paes that made even Hingis laugh and applaud in awed admiration.
The Lasers broke back, then held, so the teams went to a best-of-five tiebreak. With the score tied 2-2, Hingis served two straight points, setting up a Paes return down the line to clinch a 5-4 set win and put the final wrapping on the 2013 WTT title.
“It’s amazing — the feeling that I have to be part of this team because they worked so hard to get here and I’m just trying to be part of it,” Hingis said. “And now at the end, all the effort that we put in together and all the dedication that they have. It’s a great team.”