This week the Austin Aces will finish up their second season in the World Team Tennis league. Only active pros can play in the WTT, so the season is very short—the Aces have just seven home matches during the month of July. Games are played on a colorful indoor court at UT’s Gregory Gym (also home to the UT women’s volleyball team). This year’s Aces team is Teymuraz Gabashvili, Nicole Gibbs Jarmere Jenkins, Alla Kudryavtseva, and “marquee player” Andy Roddick.
The Aces faced the Washington Kastles last weekend. Andy was not there (due to an inquiry), and neither was the “marquee player” for the Kastles, Venus Williams. But we did get to watch Martina Hinges play for the Kastles. A former #1 singles player, she is making a comeback this year and recently won both mixed and women’s doubles at Wimbledon. She looked relaxed, hitting strong and accurate shots, during her sets in Austin.
The match consisted of five sets (played in this order): mixed doubles, women’s doubles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, and men’s singles. Special rules, including no-ad scoring, helped to speed up play. Unfortunately, the Aces were soundly defeated in a little over two hours by a score of 22-14 (games won).
This brief three-week season is moving right along, and both teams clinched the top spots in their conferences over the weekend. If the Aces and the Kastles each win their conference titles, they will compete again in the WTT Finals on August 2.
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