The 2011 World TeamTennis schedule was revealed this week, and Washington Kastles fans will have plenty to cheer about in the team's first year at Kastles Stadium at The Wharf. Marquee draft picks Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Sam Querrey will join visiting player John McEnroe in making this season unforgettable.
Here is a closer look at Washington's schedule, with the seven home matches highlighted.
Tuesday, July 5 vs. Kansas City Explorers
Venus Williams will kick off the Kastles' 2011 season against the defending WTT champion Explorers inside the brand new Kastles Stadium at The Wharf. A five-time Wimbledon champion, Venus hopes to be in top form coming off the Wimbledon singles final, to be held just three days earlier.
ROAD TRIP: Venus and her teammates will meet the Freedoms in what is sure to be a fierce matchup on Wednesday, July 6th in Philadelphia.
Thursday, July 7 vs. Boston Lobsters
Serena Williams will pick up where Venus left off when she comes to D.C. for a much-anticipated showdown between the Kastles and the Lobsters. Each team finished the 2010 season with an 8-6 record, but the Lobsters swept the season series against the Kastles to earn a playoff berth and prevent Washington from defending its 2009 WTT Championship. The 13-time Grand Slam champion is expected to provide a boost versus Boston.
ROAD TRIP: The Kastles travel to Springfield on Friday, July 8th. One night later, Serena will rejoin Washington when the Kastles compete against the Sacramento Capitals. Washington wraps up its 3-match swing with the Western Conference when Sam Querrey joins the team against the Newport Beach Breakers on Monday, July 11th.
Tuesday, July 12 vs. New York Sportimes
John McEnroe helps renew the greatest rivalry in World TeamTennis when he leads the New York Sportimes into D.C. The Hall-of-Famer was on the court two seasons ago when the Kastles and Sportimes were featured on ESPN SportsCenter after exchanging heated shots and words. Though the Kastles went on to defeat the Sportimes for the 2009 Eastern Conference Championship, New York won two of three meetings over Washington last season en route to a conference title of its own.
Thursday, July 14 vs. Springfield Lasers
Murphy Jensen and the Kastles meet the Lasers for the first time since the 2009 WTT Championship match. This is sure to be a heated matchup as the Lasers are returning to DC to exact revenge for their heartbreaking loss two seasons ago. Sam Querrey is expected to make his home Kastles debut at this match.
Friday, July 15 vs. St. Louis Aces
The St. Louis Aces arrive in the nation's capital with revenge on their minds. The Kastles defeated the Aces 19-17 at home and 23-16 in St. Louis, featuring a Venus vs. Lindsay Davenport match-up, to sweep the 2010 season series.
ROAD TRIP: In their final meeting of the season, Washington and Boston will battle in Beantown on Saturday, July 16th. If 2010 is any indication, the winner of the match could be in line for a playoff spot.
Monday, July 18 vs. Sacramento Capitals
The Kastles and Capitals meet in Washington's final non-conference match of the season. It will be essential for Washington to pick up a win because of what follows on the schedule.
ROAD TRIP: In perhaps the most important two-night stretch of the season, the Kastles will visit the New York Sportimes in Albany on July 19th and in New York City on July 20th. To make matters more difficult, reigning Australian Open and US Open champion Kim Clijsters is expected to represent the Sportimes in both matches and former World #1 Martina Hingis will play for the Sportimes in one or both of these tough critical matches. Besides her singles accomplishments, Clijsters is a former world No. 1 in doubles, which makes her one of the most valuable players in World TeamTennis.
Thursday, July 21 vs. Philadelphia Freedoms
Unlike in 2010, Washington will finish this season at home. The Kastles will need the support of their fans as they make one final push toward their second WTT Championship in three years.
Championship Weekend: Friday, July 22 and Sunday, July 24
The two top teams in the Eastern Conference will face off in the Conference Championship Match on Friday, July 22 at the home of the team with the best record. The 2011 season culminates with the WTT Championship Match on Sunday, July 24, where the Eastern and Western Conference Champions will battle for the King Trophy.
If you have not done so already, now is the chance to own the best seat locations in the new Kastles Stadium at The Wharf, and secure access to exclusive Kastles social and tennis events. So purchase your season tickets or boxes today! Season ticket holders get the exclusive first opportunity to choose seats before the general public (and lock them in for years to come!), so don't wait. Call 202-4-TENNIS (483-6647) now.