Following an undefeated season, the Washington Kastles are hungry for more in 2012.
Led by Bobby Reynolds and Wimbledon mixed doubles runner-up Leander Paes, the Kastles take on five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis and the New York Sportimes on Thursday night in their World Team Tennis home opener.
The Kastles were unbeaten in 17 straight matches dating to July 22, 2010, entering Wednesday night’s match at Springfield. Included in that run is Monday’s season-opening victory against Orange County.
Reynolds and the team can’t wait to get back and play in front of the home crowd after opening the season with two road matches.
“It’ll be nice to have a full crowd cheering us on,” Reynolds said. “There’s nothing like playing at home, and I know the whole team is looking forward to getting back.”
Even with star players opposing him throughout the season, Reynolds is unfazed.
“One person helps out the team but doesn’t make the team.”
The Kastles are well-aware they will face tough opposition in the Sportimes.
“New York always has a strong team … last year it came down to match point,” Reynolds said. “Every year it’s tough and it will probably be another tough match on Thursday.”
“Coming into the World Team Tennis season is a real highlight of my year,” Paes said. “The last three years I have played WTT, I’ve had a great time.”
Paes‘ busy schedule can only get busier later this month as he prepares to make his sixth appearance in the Olympics.
This amount of tennis could take a toll on the body and leave a person drained, but Paes enjoys the constant play and feels like it keeps him in top shape.
“I personally feel what works for me is to stay match-sharp,” Paes said. “Coming in to play the World Team Tennis format induces pressure. Playing every night will only make me sharper when I go back on tour and to the Olympics.”
The Kastles will look to repeat as WTT champions and can get one step closer by defeating the Sportimes.
“We’re going to win some matches, and we’re going to lose some matches,” said Paes, “but at the end of the day, we all get together and put our best forward; because when we do, it’s going to be really hard to beat us.”
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