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Davenport, Damm Capture WTT MVP Honors

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Lindsay Davenport of the St. Louis Aces and the Springfield Lasers’ Martin Damm were named the 2010 Female and Male MVPs of the 35th season of the World TeamTennis Pro League presented by GEICO, League officials announced today.

WTT also announced that Bobby Reynolds of the Washington Kastles, and Courtney Nagle of the Philadelphia Freedoms picked up the WTT Rookie of the Year honors and Springfield Lasers coach John-Laffnie “J.L.” de Jager was named the WTT Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.

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2010 WTT Female MVP Lindsay Davenport of the St. Louis Aces

This is the second MVP award for Davenport, who led the League in women’s singles and mixed doubles. Davenport was also named MVP in 1997. “I’m thrilled to win MVP,” said Davenport, who completed her 9th WTT season last week in St. Louis. “It’s a huge surprise to me, especially coming back after having two kids. It was a great WTT season for all of us and we were lucky to have an amazing team and owners in St. Louis. I’m disappointed we didn’t make it to the playoffs this year but look forward to returning next year.”

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2010 WTT Male MVP Martin Damm of the Springfield Lasers

Damm led his Lasers’ teammates to the Conference Championship match for the second consecutive year and narrowly edged his teammate Rik de Voest by .20% to win his first MVP award. Damm and de Voest led the League in men’s doubles with a .593 winning percentage. Damm also finished fourth in the League in mixed doubles, winning 56% of his games.

In her first year with the Philadelphia Freedoms, Nagle helped the revamped Freedoms lineup to a 6-8 record. Teaming with teammate and Rookie runner-up Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, Nagle won 51 games in women’s doubles and partnered with Prakash Amritraj to finish as the League’s 5th ranked mixed doubles team.

“I am really excited about being the 2010 WTT Rookie of the Year,” said Nagle. “I want to thank Billie Jean King for everything she does and for creating something that undoubtedly makes tennis more fun for everyone. Most of all I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I was given to play WTT with and against some of the most amazing players. Go Freedoms!”

Playing his first season with the Washington Kastles, Reynolds led the League in men’s singles with a 64-51 win-loss record. Reynolds also teamed with Leander Paes to finish as the 5th ranked men’s doubles team.

“I loved playing my first season of World TeamTennis and couldn’t have played for a finer organization, from top to bottom, than the Kastles,” said Reynolds. “With so many great players in the League, I am very honored to be the Rookie of the Year.”

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2010 WTT Coach of the Year John-Laffnie “J.L.” de Jager of the Springfield Lasers

In his fourth season leading the Springfield Lasers of the World TeamTennis Pro League, John-Laffnie “J.L.” de Jager guided his team to a WTT-best 10-4 regular season record and a spot in the Western Conference Championship match. This is the third time in the past four years de Jager has earned WTT Coach of the Year honors as he received the award in 2007, his first season as coach of the Lasers, and again in 2009.

“It’s a real honor to achieve the WTT Coach of the Year Award,” said de Jager. “Obviously, you cannot achieve an honor such like this without your team performing well and each member of this year’s Lasers team contributed equally to our success. In that respect, it really was a team effort. I do feel fortunate to coach here in Springfield and for what I feel is the best franchise in the League.”

De Jager’s team included 2010 WTT Male MVP Martin Damm, MVP runner-up Rik de Voest, Chani Scheepers and Carly Gullickson. The Lasers lost a close battle with the Kansas City Explorers 20-17 in the Western Conference Championship on July 23 in Springfield, Mo.

WTT FINALS TO AIR JULY 28 ON TENNIS CHANNEL:

Ricardo Mello and Sam Groth of the Kansas City Explorers celebrate with teammate Jarka Groth after the Explorers won their first WTT title.

With a capacity crowd at Explorers Stadium in Kansas City cheering them on, the Kansas City Explorers won their first WTT title on Sunday evening (July 25) with a 21-18 victory over the New York Sportimes. Jarka Groth, who was named MVP of the WTT Finals, rallied the Explorers by winning all three of her sets. Watch the action of the 2010 WTT Finals presented by GEICO and the City of Kansas City when it airs on Tennis Channel on Wednesday, July 28, at 8 pm EDT and re-airs at 11 pm EDT.

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Ricardo Mello and Sam Groth of the Kansas City Explorers celebrate with teammate Jarka Groth after the Explorers won their first WTT title.

PHOTO CREDITS:

Davenport, Explorers - Fred & Susan Mullane, Camerawork USA Damm, De Jager - Christopher Akins, City of Springfield

About WTT Pro League

The World Team Tennis (WTT) Pro League presented by GEICO showcases the best in professional team tennis with the innovative coed team format co-founded by Billie Jean King in the 1970s.

The WTT Pro League, which celebrated its 35th season in July 2010, is a showcase for three generations of tennis standouts, including legends, current tour players and future champions. Since the League’s debut, virtually every major champion of the Open era has played World TeamTennis. WTT is well known for showcasing and introducing innovative elements to tennis including instant replay, coed format, cumulative and no-ad scoring, on-court coaching, Overtime and Supertiebreakers, multi-colored courts and player names on the back of shirts.

Official WTT Pro League sponsors for the 2010 season include Acura, DecoTurf, GEICO, Novo Nordisk, Solfire and Wilson Racquet Sports. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis. WTT and the USTA are teaming up on number of initiatives, including development of the youth market through junior team tennis programs.

For more information on the WTT Pro League, visit WTT.com.

 

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