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WTT Finals headed to Charleston

NEW YORK, N.Y. — The 2011 World TeamTennis (WTT) Finals are headed to the “Best Tennis Town in America.” The Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C., will host the 2011 WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO, July 22-24.

The WTT Finals Weekend is the culmination of three weeks of intense coed team tennis competition featuring some of the biggest names in tennis playing in the WTT Pro League presented by GEICO. The three-day, season-ending event will include WTT Conference Championship matches and the WTT Finals. In 2010, the Kansas City Explorers captured their first championship and the King Trophy, named after WTT co-founder Billie Jean King.

The road to Charleston begins on July 4 when the 36th season of the WTT Pro League kicks off and runs through July 21, with the top two teams from each conference advancing to the WTT Finals Weekend. The Eastern Conference Championship will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 22, with the Western Conference Championship set for 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 23. The Conference Champions face off in the WTT Finals at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 24.

Tickets for the WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO go on sale April 4 at 10 a.m. EDT. Weekend packages range from $50 to $150, with single session tickets $15-$55. Tickets are available through the Family Circle Tennis Center Box Office at (800) 677-2293 or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets can be purchased online at www.FamilyCircleCup.com or www.Ticketmaster.com.

The city of Charleston was recognized last year as the “Best Tennis Town” in America by the United States Tennis Association. The Family Circle Tennis Center is one of the premiere tennis facilities in the U.S. and is the annual home of the popular WTA event, Family Circle Cup (April 2-10).

“Charleston has such a rich tennis history and it’s a market that we have wanted to bring World TeamTennis to for a long time,” said WTT CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss. ”The Family Circle Tennis Center will be a tremendous showcase for our championship matches. It’s also a great destination for WTT fans from all over the U.S. to come enjoy world-class team tennis.” This is only the second time in WTT history that the Finals have been hosted outside of a franchise market.

“Billie Jean and Ilana have built something very special with World TeamTennis,” said Bob Moran, General Manager, Family Circle Tennis Center. “We’ve been watching from afar for the past couple of years, and we’ve been very envious of the type of event WTT has become. The energy and fun atmosphere that surrounds the event is infectious. More importantly, the players want to win, not just for themselves, but for their teammates. It reminds us of the Davis Cup tie we held in Charleston in 2004.”

“It’s fitting for Charleston, The Best Tennis Town in America, to be hosting this great event at Family Circle Stadium on Daniel Island,” says Nancy Weber, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer, Meredith Corporation, the publisher of Family Circle magazine. “Family Circle has a long standing history with Women’s tennis, and Billie Jean King has been there from the beginning. Meredith is honored to continue our commitment to the great sport of tennis. We are proud to host this year’s WTT Finals Weekend.”

“Great tennis always finds a home in Charleston,” said WTT co-founder Billie Jean King. “There have been so many memorable matches played in this stadium and we think the WTT Finals will add to that history. The tennis fans there appreciate the game and I’m confident they will embrace team tennis as well.”

“We’re extremely excited to be hosting the semifinals and finals at Family Circle Stadium, and we’re looking forward to working with Billie Jean, Ilana and the entire WTT organization. We know all the players, coaches and guests will feel completely at home on Daniel Island with one of the best cities in Charleston as the backdrop,” added Moran.

A WTT team is comprised of a coach, along with two male and two female players who play five total sets of singles, doubles and mixed doubles. WTT matches feature cumulative and no-ad scoring, as well as Overtime and Supertiebreakers. The first team to reach five games wins each set. A nine-point tiebreaker is played if a set reaches four games all. One point is awarded for each game won. If necessary, Overtime and a Supertiebreaker are played to determine the winner of the match.

Bob Moran noted, “Last July, I took a few members of our staff on a road trip up to Washington, DC, to see the Kastles play. We returned with the idea of hosting a team. The next step was having a meeting with Ilana while she and Billie Jean were at Kiawah Island for USTA meetings. That’s when the discussion of hosting the Finals began.”

Each of the WTT Pro League nine teams will play 14 matches - seven home, seven away, during the regular season. Eastern Conference teams are the Boston Lobsters, New York Sportimes, Philadelphia Freedoms and Washington Kastles. Western Conference teams are Newport Beach Breakers, Sacramento Capitals, St. Louis Aces, Springfield Lasers and Kansas City Explorers.

The Marquee Player lineup for 2011 showcases three generations of tennis stars and features some of the sports’ biggest names, including Serena Williams (Washington Kastles), Venus Williams (Washington Kastles), Kim Clijsters (New York Sportimes), John McEnroe (New York Sportimes), Martina Hingis (New York Sportimes), Lindsay Davenport (St. Louis Aces), Anna Kournikova (St. Louis Aces), Pete Sampras (Newport Beach Breakers), Sam Querrey (Washington Kastles), John Isner (Boston Lobsters), Mardy Fish (Sacramento Capitals), Mark Philippoussis (St. Louis Aces), Bob and Mike Bryan (Kansas City Explorers), James Blake (Boston Lobsters) and Melanie Oudin (Philadelphia Freedoms).

 

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