- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kastles Stadium erupted Sunday night as a capacity crowd watched Washington close out its third World Team Tennis championship with a 25-12 win over the Springfield Lasers behind the play of MVP Bobby Reynolds and Martina Hingis.

The Kastles secured their fourth finals win in the past five years in front of an announced crowd of 2,670 fans who waited out a two-hour rain delay before the match began. Hingis, in her first season with the Kastles, was elated to win the title at home.

“It’s just amazing,” Hingis said. “The feeling that I have to be part of this team because they worked so hard to get there … [and] now at the end all of the effort that we put together and all of the dedication they have, it’s a great team.”

She and Leander Paes defeated Alisa Kleybanova and Andy Roddick, the headline player and part-owner for the Lasers, in mixed doubles to clinch the match.

“I started off pretty well in the [mixed doubles] then my energy level dropped a little bit,” said Hingis. “And that’s when [Paes] kind of lifted his game amazingly, and it is pretty cool to have five perfect sets.”

World Team Tennis scoring is cumulative, so the win is a compilation of the scores from the five sets played: men’s singles, women’s singles, women’s doubles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Reynolds opened with a 5-1 win against Rik de Voest and Washington took an early 5-1 lead. The two-time defending champs never looked back from there.

Hingis and Anastasia Rodionova downed Alisa Kleybanova and Vania King 5-3 in their doubles match, and Reynolds and Paes prevailed 5-2 in men’s doubles despite a late move by Springfield to substitute Roddick for de Voest alongside Jean-Julien Rojer. Hingis then breezed past Kleybanova 5-2 in singles before closing it out in mixed alongside Paes.

The Kastles (14-2) were dominant all season and set the record for consecutive wins (34) in professional team sports earlier in the year. Coach Murphy Jensen, who led Washington to undefeated seasons in 2011 and 2012, could not decide which achievement was more rewarding — the win streak or the three-peat.

“We got three, it’s magical!” said Jensen. “The winning streak is amazing to be part of history, you can’t put a price tag on that, and to [win] three in a row, same kind of thing.

“Our guys are successful because we absolutely sacrifice everything to play for D.C. and the Kastles. Tonight they were perfect in all five sets.”

The match was scheduled to start at 5 p.m. but didn’t begin until 7:03 due to rain delays. This was the second time the Washington won the championship in front of its home crowd, the previous coming in 2009.

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