Kastles good news and bad

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Well, this should be interesting. A week after dropping a tense and controversial match against the New York Sportimes, the Washington Kastles of World TeamTennis will face them again Friday for a berth in Sunday’s championship Final.

The Kastles earned their first playoff berth by beating the Springfield Lasers Wednesday night.

Friday’s match is a second go-around for the Kastles and Sportimes, who battled last Thursday in a match marred by arguments, code violations and fines involving several players.

I was on vacation when it all happened last week, but controversy ensued when the Kastles’ Leander Paes struck the Sportimes’ Robert Kendrick with an overhead near the net. Kendrick retaliated, hitting Paes with his next serve. Tempers flared and the end result, according to people with knowledge of the situation, was the issuing of $500 fines against each team and individual $500 fines against Kendrick and the Kastles’ Olga Puchkova. Sportimes coach Chuck Adams was also fine $5,000 and suspended a game for violating the Coaches Code of Conduct.

I’ll be speaking with Kastles Coach Murphy Jensen and team owner Mark Ein later today and will have more on Friday’s match. It’s worth noting that tickets for the match will all cost $25, first come, first serve.

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