4/1/2008 NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., April 1, 2008
|NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS SET THE STAGE FOR |
–The unveiling of the Breakers’ 2008 World TeamTennis schedule shows marquee player Lindsay Davenport returning to the Breakers center stage, as well as New York Sportimes’ John McEnroe, the Washington Kastles’ Serena Williams and the Boston Lobsters’ Martina Navratilova through the Breakers’ July home schedule. In addition, a special appearance by Tracy Austin is set for Women’s Tennis Night on July 14.
Davenport will play her only match in Newport Beach on July 10 vs. the Springfield Lasers, before the Breakers host Williams and the Washington Kastles on July 13, Navratilova and the Boston Lobsters on July 21 and McEnroe and the Sportimes on July 22. Davenport plays her second match with the Breakers July 12 at Sacramento.
The Breakers will play 14 matches during the three-week World TeamTennis season (July 3-23), seven at home. The home opener, July 5 vs. the Kansas City Explorers, is Junior Tennis Night, two days after opening the season at the defending WTT champion Sacramento Capitals. The Breakers also have home dates vs. Sacramento on July 14, which is Women’s Tennis Night featuring Tracy Austin, and against the St. Louis Aces on July 16.
Tickets don’t figure to last long when they go on sale April 3 at 10 a.m. The Breakers sold out five of their seven home matches in 2007 and enjoyed their largest crowd – 2,358 – during their season finale, which featured McEnroe and Sharapova. Nearly 15,000 fans visited Breakers Stadium in 2007 and were entertained by tennis celebrities such as Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams and Anna Kournikova.
For ticket and additional information, fans of the Newport Beach Breakers can visit www.NewportBeachBreakers.com or call 714-352-6301.
July will mark Davenport’s second stint with the Breakers. She last suited up for the Breakers in 2003. Davenport holds three Grand Slam singles titles (1998 U.S. Open, 1999 Wimbledon and 2000 Australian Open) and the 1996 Olympic gold medal in singles. She has won more prize money than any other pro female athlete and she is one of only four women since 1975 who has been the year-end World No. 1 at least four times. Davenport finished 1998, 2001, 2004, and 2005 as the top-ranked female player.
The smooth-swinging, hard-hitting Davenport rejoined the WTA Tour after giving birth to her son, Jagger Jonathan, in June. Davenport made her WTT debut in 1993 with the Sacramento Capitals and helped the team to the League Championship in 1997 and 1998. She also helped lead Sacramento to its WTT-record sixth championship last year.
McEnroe, 49, claimed the top ranking in both singles and doubles during his pro tour career. He won seven Grand Slam singles titles — three at Wimbledon and four at the U.S. Open — nine Grand Slam men's doubles titles, and one Grand Slam mixed doubles title during his career. This is the eighth year of WTT action for McEnroe, who was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999. A fiery personality on the court, McEnroe is one of the sport’s most popular television commentators.
Williams, 26, joins Washington, the WTT’s new expansion team, after playing for St. Louis in 2007. In 2007, the WTA Tour’s hardest server won her eighth Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open coming off an injury-plagued 2006. Williams has won a total of 28 singles titles and 11 doubles championships, including the 2000 Olympic Gold Medal in doubles. The Compton native won all Grand Slam singles championships – Wimbledon (2002, 2003), U.S. Open (1999, 2002), French Open (2002) and Australian Open (2003, 2005, 2007) and finished 2002 with the No. 1 world ranking.
A 2000 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee, Navratilova, 51, is regarded by many as the best female tennis player of all time. “She’s the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who ever lived,” WTT founder and Breakers co-owner Billie Jean King famously said in 2006. Navratilova spent 156 consecutive weeks and 331 total weeks as the world’s No. 1 singles player, a record at the time. She won at least one tour event for 21 consecutive years and won the singles and doubles at the same event a record 84 times. Her career singles match win total of 1,442 is the most during the open era.
Holding the all-time Wimbledon record of 20 titles with King, Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, a record 31 Grand Slam women's doubles and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She reached the Wimbledon singles final 12 times, including nine consecutive years from 1982-1990, and won the women's singles title at Wimbledon a record nine times. She holds the open era record for most singles and doubles tournament wins (167 and 177 titles, respectively). She also recorded the longest winning streak in tennis history (74 matches) and shares the record for the most consecutive Grand Slam singles titles (six). She capped off her career by winning the mixed doubles title at the 2006 U.S. Open with Bob Bryan.
Each World TeamTennis team is comprised of two men, two women and a coach. Team matches consist of five events – one set each of men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles. The first team to reach five games wins each set. A nine-point tiebreaker is played if a set reaches four-all. One point is awarded for each game won. If necessary, overtime and a supertiebreaker are played to determine the outright winner of the match.About Newport Beach Breakers
The Newport Beach Breakers is one of 11 nationwide teams that make up World TeamTennis (WTT). Co-owned by WTT founder Billie Jean King, Hoag Hospital Foundation has been granted the rights to manage the Breakers through 2009 by the WTT, with profits from the team's operations for the season benefiting Hoag Hospital. Hoag's expert involvement with professional sports also extends to its organization of the PGA Champions Tour's Toshiba Classic held annually in March.
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