Aug/20

2

New York Empires Win WTT

NEW YORK EMPIRE ARE 2020 WORLD TEAMTENNIS CHAMPIONS, BEAT CHICAGO SMASH ON LAST POINT

Coco Vandeweghe and Nicole Melichar Survive a Championship Point And Rally To Win Super Tiebreaker And King Trophy Over Chicago Smash, 21-20

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.V. (Aug. 2, 2020) – The King Trophy came down to as dramatic a finish as you can have in World TeamTennis as one point decided the entire season with the New York Empire capturing the King Trophy over the expansion Chicago Smash, 21-20, in a Super Tiebreaker on Sunday at Center Court at Creekside at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. 

It all played out in front of a live nationally-televised audience on CBS Television Network. With the match in Extended Play at 20-20 and at 6-all in the Super Tiebreaker (best of 13) the Empire’s Coco Vandeweghe ripped a Sloane Stephens serve with a forehand down the line that nicked the baseline, was reviewed by Hawk-Eye and signaled in. The Finals Female Most Valuable Player Vandeweghe embraced her partner Nicole Melichar as the rest of the Empire players and head coach Luke Jensen joined into the celebration.  

“I never had this opportunity in World TeamTennis to do Extended Play, to the Super Tiebreaker to the super buster to the Super Breaker (last deciding point),” Vandeweghe said. “I mean I’ve never been under that kind of pressure, ever. It was so much fun to be on my racquet to control the situation. Luckily I controlled it in the right way. It really accentuated what World TeamTennis is; the team vibe, team energy, people picking each other up when they’re down. I had so much fun out there.”

Said Melichar: “I didn’t want to tell Coco to go line, because I know her instincts, but I felt that Bethanie (Mattel-Sands) was going to try and cross and then the second she hit it and they didn’t call an out call I was thrilled, but then the fact that they were challenging (asked to look at Hawk-Eye), we were like ‘oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no’ and then it was just pure joy. It was just incredible.”

World TeamTennis titles are nothing new for New York franchises as the New York Buzz won the King Trophy in 2008 and the New York Sportimes did the same in 2005.

“It’s just so amazing that it came down to one point,” Empire coach Luke Jensen told the crowd after accepting the King Trophy and the $500,000 winning check his team will split. “When you’re a Grand Slam champion you’ve accomplished what you wanted as a kid. That she (Coco) didn’t hesitate to take that shot is amazing. And for New York specifically. Her grandfather played for the Knicks (Ernie Vandeweghe). Her uncle played for the Knicks (Kiki)…We made the trade for her, I reached out to her to say she should play for the orange and the blue, the Knicks colors and our colors. She’s such a gamer and a winner.”

The Smash held a championship point in regulation at 4-all in the tiebreaker (best of nine) as Melichar hit a service winner that Genie Bouchard was unable to handle, giving the set to the Empire and sending the match into Extended Play, 20-18. Vandeweghe won her serve for 20-19, and the Empire pair then broke Bethanie Mattek-Sands’ serve to knot the score at 20-20.

“I’m proud of this team for the fight all year,” said Chicago Smash Coach Kamau Murray. “I made two different decisions at both the end of the regular time and the tiebreaker and we’d have been in a different position. I’m sorry to see it end this way, but they all played well … Looking ahead to next year, I think we have a good core. We’ll bring most of them back and we’ll be here (in the Finals) again.”

In Women’s Singles, 2017 US Open winner Stephens extended the Smash’s lead with a 5-3 win over Vandeweghe to make the score 16-13.

The Empire jumped out to a quick start thanks to the play of WTT Male Most Valuable Player Jack Sock as he recorded wins in Mixed Doubles with Vandeweghe and in Men’s Doubles with Neal Skupski. He then ran into a buzz-saw in the way of 18-year-old Smash rookie Brandon Nakashima, who reeled off a 5-0 win to swing the match in favor of Chicago.

“I think I would chalk that up as my worst set of the three weeks, and unfortunately it came on the most important day, as well,” Sock said. “I just kept my head up. I was able to put 10 points on the board with Neal and Coco and you can’t ask more than that.”

WTT CEO Carlos Silva still had goosebumps talking about the match an hour after the memorable conclusion. “A flip flop in the middle of the match with Nakashima coming back to win 5-0 and swing the match, you couldn’t ask for any more than that,” Silva said. “And Coco’s winning forehand was like a walk-off home run, a buzzer-beater. My heart is still pounding.”

No. 4 New York Empire def. No. 3 CHICAGO SMASH, 21-20 (EP)

Men’s Doubles: Jack Sock/Neal Skupski (Empire) def. Rajeev Ram/Brandon Nakashima (Smash), 5-2

Mixed Doubles: Sock/Coco Vandeweghe (Empire) def. Mattek-Sands/Ram (Smash), 5-4

Men’s Singles: Brandon Nakashima (Smash) def. Sock (Empire), 5-0

Women’s Singles: Sloane Stephens (Smash) def. Vandeweghe (Empire), 5-3

Women’s Doubles: Nicole Melichar/Vandeweghe (Empire) def. Genie Bouchard/Mattek-Sands (Smash), 5-4

Extended Play: Melichar/Vandeweghe (Empire) def. Bouchard/Mattek-Sands (Smash), 2-0

Super Tiebreaker: Melichar/Vandeweghe (Empire) def. Mattek-Sands/Stephens (Smash), 7-6

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13 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 2, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    Super event. And the final was sensational. One point determined it. And Coco hit the line on an aggressive return. Luke Jensen shouting You’re in her head to Coco when she was battling Sloane. Super intense great tennis. Can’t wait for Cincy and US Open, the players are starving to play tennis again and I’m sure we will see magical tennis.

  • JohnnyTD · August 8, 2020 at 3:57 am

    “Can’t wait for Cincy and US Open, the players are starving to play tennis again and I’m sure we will see magical tennis.”

    I’m abroad atm so haven’t been online too much, however, I always see something strange when i get on the net, Nadal decides to play, then he changes his mind, they cancel Madrid. I’m curious who will play the US Open in the end and i hope that the tourney will be great, with magical tennis as you said.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Sorry everyone, I have been without power for five days due to tropical storm which hit my neighborhood in NJ very bad, huge trees down all over and lots or branches and wires, it took four days for crews to finally get here. But power is back and life goes on. Excited for Roland Garros Cincy and US Open.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    Sloane Stephens: “I guess going into the US Open they’d better have National Guard out there or something because it’s going to be a treat to see all of the crazy things that happen. But fingers crossed for a safe and COVID-free US Open.”

  • JohnnyTD · August 9, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    “Sorry everyone, I have been without power for five days due to tropical storm which hit my neighborhood in NJ very bad, huge trees down all over and lots or branches and wires, it took four days for crews to finally get here. But power is back and life goes on. Excited for Roland Garros Cincy and US Open.”

    Good to hear you’re safe 👍

    “Sloane Stephens: “I guess going into the US Open they’d better have National Guard out there or something because it’s going to be a treat to see all of the crazy things that happen. But fingers crossed for a safe and COVID-free US Open.””

    Haha, that’s like what you said a few weeks ago, hope no one will want to close Stephens in one cage with Dokic’s dad for what she said 😉

  • Sam · August 14, 2020 at 7:22 am

    Moving another comment from a closed thread . . . 🙂

    “Maybe it was a new admin. It often happens on mainstream forums that a new admin comes who doesn’t know who the core members are and bans them, i saw that phenomenon on all kinds of mainstream forums. It’s plain stupid to ban people who have been members for 7 years.”

    Interesting—I think you may be right. I had no idea that this kind of stuff happens. Well, I won’t take it personally then. 😉 Some whiner might’ve “flagged” my post, and then the clueless admin had a knee-jerk reaction.

    “And they did it despite your being a Trump supporter, i bet that clueless admin didn’t even know that.”

    That admin is so stupid he’ll probably end up banning himself!! LOL.

    “You know one thing that Trump and Trump supporters could do better is relax a bit. It’s not good for example that Trump is worrying about what the liberal media would say if he slipped on that slope at westpoint? and other little things.”

    Slope at West Point? Not familiar with that. But yes, it would be nice if Trump could learn to bite his tongue occasionally. 😛 His wife seems to be a great example in that regard.

    “he’s clowning and joking lot, on the surface he doesn’t take himself too seriously and just laughs off all kinds of trolling and mocking.”

    Good to hear.

    “He has all kinds of legendary bs like he has dakota and other ‘exotic’ sayings for everything.”

    Huh?

    “Meanwhile he controls everything with iron fists.”

    But is he really a dictator?

  • JohnnyTD · August 14, 2020 at 9:27 am

    “Slope at West Point? Not familiar with that.”

    This one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0Yf4UgkXvk

    “Huh?”

    Native American, Dakota tribe sayings. He used to use lots of those publicly, people are still making memes and joke blogs about it.

    “But is he really a dictator?”

    He’s just playing very dirtily, after they won the elections after 8 years of socialist government they changed lots of laws, even the constitutions to make sure it’s nearly impossible to remove them. But he’s not really a dictator, just a dirty and corrupt thief. Real nationalists look on his right wing party too as a bunch of old commies. You know he went to Oxford with Soros scholarship and the old commie corruption lives on in his party. They are just slightly better than the socialists but at least they do basic stuff right, like migration policy, etc.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 14, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    Big break on doing the Margaret Court Biofile. I started giving lessons to a woman from NYC who is from Australian who is family friends with Margaret Court and her husband Barry.

  • JohnnyTD · August 15, 2020 at 12:04 am

    “Big break on doing the Margaret Court Biofile. I started giving lessons to a woman from NYC who is from Australian who is family friends with Margaret Court and her husband Barry.”

    Congrats and good luck 🤞

  • Sam · August 18, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    “This one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0Yf4UgkXvk

    Thanks–hadn’t heard about that before.

    “Native American, Dakota tribe sayings. He used to use lots of those publicly, people are still making memes and joke blogs about it.”

    Why was he using those?

    “They are just slightly better than the socialists but at least they do basic stuff right, like migration policy, etc.”

    I thought Hungary was a democracy–guess not. 😉

  • Sam · August 18, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    “Big break on doing the Margaret Court Biofile. I started giving lessons to a woman from NYC who is from Australian who is family friends with Margaret Court and her husband Barry.”

    That’s great to hear! I guess you gotta know somebody to get interviews with some of these people. 🙂

    It seems that if you just send an e-mail request and they don’t know you, it’s likely to be ignored. Not very professional if you ask me. 🙁

  • JohnnyTD · August 19, 2020 at 1:42 am

    “Why was he using those?”

    I guess to sound different and “upbeat”. I think the first 2 or 3 were authentic but then he started making some up himself, and ofc people on the internet started mocking him, making other fake ones to criticize his policies.

    “I thought Hungary was a democracy–guess not. 😉”

    It’s much more of a democracy than many western countries, the sad truth is that this ex-commie dakota clown is still better than the left or the hipster monkey far right 🙁 BTW he’s really immune to criticism and trolling despite people calling him from “pocket gypsy” to everything else. Here is a tipical funny video about him, it’s quite easy to get even without subs 😛 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXANtW5EEX4

  • Sam · August 27, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    “I guess to sound different and ‘upbeat’. I think the first 2 or 3 were authentic but then he started making some up himself”

    Seriously—couldn’t that be considered kind of racist??

    “BTW he’s really immune to criticism and trolling despite people calling him from ‘pocket gypsy’ to everything else.”

    Maybe he could offer to give Trump a few lessons. 🙂

    [quote]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXANtW5EEX4[/quote]

    Well, that video convinced me that I may need to brush up on my Hungarian a little more. 😉

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