WTT 2006 DRAFT
March 28, 2006
JW Marriott - Miami, FL
Round-by-Round draft picks:
2006 WTT Pro League – Team Draft Summaries
The Lobsters protected the rights to Martina Navratilova who will be playing in her 18th season of WTT. In 2006, Navratilova was named as one of four members of the all-time WTT All-Star Team. No other player has won more singles and doubles titles than her 341, including 58 Grand Slam titles. Also in the Marquee Draft, the Lobsters selected American Todd Martin. He ended his career in 2003 with 8 singles titles and 5 doubles titles. Martin, who played for the U.S. Davis Cup and Olympic teams, had a career high ranking of #4 in the world in 1999. The Lobsters also protected Kristen Schlukebir and Thomas Blake and in the Roster Draft selected Nicole Pratt and Amir Hadad. Anne Smith is the Lobsters coach.
The Smash traded their #1 pick Venus Williams to Philadelphia for financial consideration. In the roster draft, they picked up Liezel Huber, who played for them last year. The Smash also selected Angela Haynes, Eric Nunez and protected Robbie Koenig. Mariaan de Swardt returns as Delaware’s coach.
The FoxForce passed on a Marquee Player, but are bringing back Meghann Shaughnessy and Lisa McShea from their 2005 lineup. They also selected Glenn Weiner and Goran Dragicevic to round out their roster. Former player Don Johnson is now coaching the FoxForce.
Before the draft, the Wranglers traded the #1 overall pick to the Newport Beach Breakers. When it was time for the Wranglers to make their first selection, they selected American Mardy Fish in the exempt player round. Battling back from an injury plagued 2005 season, Fish returns for his 3rd season of WTT. Fish’s career highlights include a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics and helping the U.S. reach the Davis Cup Finals in 2004. Houston also added Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the exempt round. The Wranglers rounded out their roster with Jan-Michael Gambill, Ahsha Rolle, Bryanne Stewart and Johan Landsberg.
KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS
The Kansas City Explorers protected the rights to the #1 doubles team in the world, Mike and Bob Bryan. The Bryans are coming off a championship at the 2006 Australian Open and followed that up with a title in Las Vegas earlier this year for their 30th career doubles title. They also won the U.S. Open in 2005 and the French Open in 2003. The Explorers protected David Macpherson and Brian MacPhie. Rounding out the roster for the Explorers are Caroline Wozniacki and Corina Morariu.
NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS
In a trade with Houston, the Breakers selected Pete Sampras with their first round Marquee pick and #1 pick overall. Sampras retired from professional tennis in 2002 as the all-time leader in Grand Slam singles titles with 14 career titles. This will be Sampras’ first season of WTT action. The Breakers also protected Ramon Delgado in round 1 of the roster draft and Anastassia Rodionova in round 4 of the roster draft. Newport traded their 2nd round roster pick to Springfield for Rick Leach and selected Tina Krizan to round out their roster. Dick Leach will once again coach the Breakers.
NEW YORK BUZZ
The Buzz passed on a Marquee player and elected to build a solid roster squad featuring Viktoriya Kutuzova, Gaston Etlis, Scott Lipsky, and Julie Ditty. Jolene Watanabe returns as the coach.
NEW YORK SPORTIMES
The defending WTT Champions protected two of their stars, John McEnroe and Martina Hingis. McEnroe, who will be playing in his 6th WTT season, has won a total of 77 careers singles titles and 77 doubles titles including 17 Grand Slam titles. Hingis is back once again with the Sportimes after leading them to the WTT championship last season. Hingis is having a remarkable comeback in tennis after being away from tennis since 2002. She is climbing back up the rankings where she is currently ranked #32 in the world. She opened the 2006 season on her comeback trail with a Mixed Doubles title at the Australian Open. The Sportimes also drafted the husband and wife duo of Alex Bogomolov, Jr., and Ashley Harkleroad. John Paul Fruterro and Vladka Uhlirova round out the team. Chuck Adams is the new Sportimes coach.
The Freedoms pulled off a big trade after the draft, grabbing Venus Williams from Delaware for financial consideration. Williams is currently ranked #10 in the world and is coming off a 2005 season in which she won Wimbledon, her 6th Grand Slam title of her career. The Freedoms also protected doubles specialist and hometown favorite Lisa Raymond. Rounding out their roster, the Freedoms selected Daniel Nestor, Freddy Neimeyer, Rennae Stubbs and Casey Dellacqua. Craig Kardon returns as the Freedoms coach.
The Capitals have most of their squad back from 2005. They protected the rights to Anna Kournikova. Playing in her 4th season of WTT, Kournikova is still one of the most recognized athletes in the world. She has a total of 16 career doubles titles including two Grand Slam titles with Martina Hingis. The Capitals also protected Nicole Vaidisova, who will be playing her 3rd season of WTT and, at only 16 years old, is ranked #13 in the world rankings. The Capitals also protected Elena Likhovtseva, Mark Knowles and Sam Warburg. The Capitals also picked up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Wayne Bryan returns as the Capitals coach.
ST. LOUIS ACES
The Aces protected the rights to the outstanding doubles team of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram. They picked up Maria Emilia Salerni in the first round of the Roster Draft followed by Aleke Tsoubanos. Greg Patton returns as the Aces coach.
With their #1 pick, the Lasers selected Anastasia Myskina, currently ranked #12 in the world. Myskina has won a total of 10 career singles titles including the 2004 French Open. She reached a career high of #2 in the world in 2004 after winning the Grand Slam. The Lasers also selected Victoria Azarenka, Andreea Vanc, Alex Vlaski (in a trade with Newport Beach for Rick Leach), and Nick Monroe. Trevor Kronemann returns as Springfield’s coach.