New York Sportimes Wins WTT Title
New York Sportimes Win First World TeamTennis Title
Martina Hingis completed a near flawless weekend of tennis Saturday, leading the New York Sportimes to their first World TeamTennis championship at the WTT Finals presented by Advanta, defeating the defending WTT champions Newport Beach Breakers 21-18 (OT 3-1) in action at Allstate Stadium in Citrus Heights, Calif.
Hingis, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the championship weekend, did not lose one set in either Friday’s semifinal win over the Boston Lobsters or in the championship match against Newport Beach. She accounted for 15 of the Sportimes’ 21 points in Saturday’s championship. Hingis, who is completing her first season in WTT action, dropped only one set all season, losing to Hartford’s Meghann Shaughnessy in the Sportimes’ second match of the season.
“We worked hard all season to get ourselves into this position,” Hingis said after the match. “I was very happy to be part of this team and get them going. I knew when the guys lost the first set of doubles I had to step up and get us a lead.”
New York appeared to be cruising to an easy victory when Newport Beach’s Ramon Delgado took the final set, men’s singles, with a 5-3 win over Jeff Morrison, forcing the match into overtime. Delgado won three straight games in overtime to bring the match to 20-18, but Morrison finally prevailed in the four game of overtime to seal the victory and the championship for New York.
“I knew we had a lot of ground to make up going into the final set, but my first priority was to get us into overtime,” Delgado said. “I knew he might tighten up and when I won the first three games I thought we had a chance to win the match. I was playing one point at a time and having played overtime before, I knew that if I stuck with it, maybe we could come back. I guess we just came up a little short.”
Once the match got into overtime, there was little Hingis could do to help the team.
“It was so nerve-racking to watch when you can’t help out the team,” she said. “We were so happy when that final point was over.” Newport Beach opened the match with a convincing 5- 2 win in men’s doubles with Devin Bowen and Delgado overtaking New York’s Morrison and Rajeev Ram. In the second set, Hingis easily dispatched of Katerina Bondarenko 5-1 to put the Sportimes up one game leading into the mixed doubles.
New York captured the mixed doubles with Hingis and Ram ousting Anastassia Rodionova and Delgado, 5-2, then Hingis paired with Jenny Hopkins to win the women’s doubles over Newport Beach’s Bondarenko and Rodionova, 5-2.