San Diego Aviators Battle to Stay on Top in World TeamTennis
Thru August 5, 2017
San Diego’s professional tennis team, the San Diego Aviators, have returned for their fourth season of World TeamTennis, thrilling tennis fans with fast-paced play in a lively format unlike any other. The team, which plays home matches on center court at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, has come out swinging this season, ready to defend the championship they secured in 2016 and showing no signs of the pressure of being returning champions.
It’s already shaping up to be an all-star season. At the Aviators’ season opener on July 16, they faced a formidable opponent and one of the biggest names in tennis —former World No. 1, Maria Sharapova — playing for the Orange County Breakers. The Breakers were apparently bringing out their big guns to try to make a statement, as they were the team the Aviators bested to take the 2016 championship.
Maria Sharapova at the season opener
On July 22, the Aviators added local former top 10 ATP pro and two-time Grand Slam finalist Mark Philippoussis to the team for the first of two consecutive nights in front of a VIP crowd that included American tennis legend Jimmy Connors and Rod Laver, one of the greatest to ever play the game. Then, the Aviators will welcome World No. 21 Coco Vandeweghe to the team for one night on July 25. Vandeweghe, a Rancho Santa Fe resident, is well-known for her power and lively on-court personality. They’ll conclude the regular season on Wednesday, August 2, at home against the Washington Kastles. The Aviators’ home court at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa will host the league’s top two teams in the championship match on August 5.
Coco Vandeweghe. Photo courtesy of CameraWork USA
The Aviators are part of Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT), the league founded by tennis legend Billie Jean King in the 1970s. There are currently six WTT teams in the league playing during the three-week season. Mylan WTT features many of the world’s best professional players competing annually for the King Trophy, the league’s championship trophy named in honor of its founder. Some of biggest names in the game playing this season are Venus Williams, Martina Hingis, Eugenie Bouchard, Jack Sock, John Isner, Donald Young, Stevie Johnson, Andy Roddick, Nick Kyrgios, and Sam Querrey, and the doubles powerhouse team of the Bryan Brothers.
Since the League’s debut, virtually every major champion of the Open era has played World TeamTennis, including Andre Agassi, Venus and Serena Williams, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, Bob and Mike Bryan, Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova, and Chris Evert. Earlier this year, King sold a majority stake of WTT to Aviators owner Fred Luddy and Mark Ein, owner of the Washington Kastles.
Tickets are still available for the remaining home matches. Use promo code RanchCoast10 to save 10% throughout the season. sandiegoaviators.com Deanna Murphy
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