2020 World TeamTennis season Preview

Venus Williams Australian Open Day 1

World TeamTennis (WTT) is back this year, but with a different look due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 World TeamTennis season begins July 12, and the finals are scheduled for Sunday, August 2nd. The season is taking place entirely at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia this year, also.

Despite the circumstances, the field this year contains a lot of star power poised to deliver an exciting three weeks of tennis. A preview of the teams competing this 2020 season:

Chicago Smash

The Chicago Smash come into their inaugural season this 2020 World TeamTennis season, with Kamau Murray as coach.

Headlining the Smash will be Grand Slam champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Rajeev Ram, and Sloane Stephens. Also, 2014 Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles finalist Eugenie Bouchard joins the Smash this year.

Mattek-Sands and Bouchard reunite as teammates, having done so in June as members of Team Peace at the Credit One Bank Invitational. This time they’ll team up with Stephens, who was on the opposing Team Kindness.

Rounding out the team will be Chicago native Evan King and 18-year-old American Brandon Nakashima.

New York Empire

The New York Empire enter their fifth season this 2020 World TeamTennis season. The Empire finished runner-up last season to the Springfield Lasers in a competitive 20-19 finals loss.

Coached by Luke Jensen, the Empire this year are led by Grand Slam champions Kim Clijsters, Jack Sock, and Kvêta Peschke. Sock was a member of the 2018 WTT champion Springfield Lasers team.

Rounding out the lineup is former Top 10 player Mardy Fish, 2013 Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles finalist Sabine Lisicki, and current Doubles World No. 29 Neal Skupski.

Orange County Breakers

The Orange County Breakers return for their fifth straight season, based out of Newport Beach, California. The Breakers are two-time WTT champions, winning in 2004 and 2017.

Coached by Rick Leach, the Breakers welcome back American Steve Johnson, Andreja Klepač, and Luke Bambridge from last year.

In addition, the Breakers add Milos Raonic and Jennifer Brady to the team. Raonic reached the finals of Wimbledon in 2016, and has a career-high ranking of No. 3 in the world. Brady went undefeated to lead Team Peace to victory at the Credit One Bank Invitational, and is currently ranked No. 48 in the world.

Orlando Storm

The Orlando Storm enter their second WTT season this year. The Storm’s coach this year is Jay Gooding.

Leading the Storm are Americans Danielle Collins and Tennys Sandgren. Both Collins and Sandgren have translated their college success onto the professional tour. Collins and Sandgren both broke through at the professional level at the Australian Open, with deeps runs as unseeded players. Sandgren reached the quarterfinals in 2018, and Collins reached the semifinals in 2019.

Another American, Jessica Pegula, will join the Storm in her first WTT season. Last year, Pegula won her first WTA title at the Citi Open. Pegula also reached the finals of the ASB Classic this year.

The Storm’s lineup also features Darija Jurak, playing her 7th WTT season, along with Brits Ken Skupski and James Ward.

Philadelphia Freedoms

The Philadelphia Freedoms come into this season having won the King Trophy two times, in 2001 and 2006. The Freedoms this year are coached by Craig Kardon.

2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin joins the Freedoms this year. This is Kenin’s first season of World TeamTennis.

Alongside Kenin is another WTT first-year player in Caroline Dolehide. In addition, Kenin and Dolehide are joined by three Americans with plenty of WTT experience in Taylor Fritz, Taylor Townsend, and Donald Young.

2019 French Open Doubles finalist Fabrice Martin will be rounding out the Freedoms’ lineup.

San Diego Aviators

The San Diego Aviators return to play this 2020 World TeamTennis season with head coach John Lloyd.

On the Aviators squad this year is 2016 WTT Male MVP Ryan Harrison. Harrison helped to deliver the King Trophy to San Diego that same year.

Joining Harrison is Coco Vandeweghe. Vandeweghe is set to play her eleventh season of World TeamTennis.

Rounding out the lineup is 2018 Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Champion Nicole Melichar, as well as Christina McHale and Jonny O’Mara.

Springfield Lasers

The Springfield Lasers enter this 2020 World TeamTennis season as two-time defending champions. The Lasers won in 2018, defeating the Philadelphia Freedoms in the finals. The Lasers won again in 2019, this time beating the New York Empire in the finals.

In 2020, the Lasers will be coached by John-Laffnie de Jager. This is de Jager’s 21st season coaching in World TeamTennis.

2019 Finals MVP Robert Lindstedt returns to the Lasers this season. Olga Govortsova and Jean Julien-Rojer return to the Lasers this season as well.

The Lasers also welcome Mitchell Krueger from the Philadelphia Freedoms. The Lasers also welcome first-year players Catherine McNally and Hayley Carter.

Vegas Rollers

The Vegas Rollers enter their second season in World TeamTennis coached by Tom Blenkiron.

Headlining the Rollers this year are doubles legends Mike and Bob Bryan. The brothers will both be competing in their 18th WTT season.

Joining them on the Rollers roster for a second consecutive year is 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Monica Puig. Former World No. 11 Sam Querrey and Asia Muhammad also return to the Rollers roster this season.

Finalizing the Rollers lineup is Kristie Ahn. Ahn, a Stanford alum, reached the fourth round of the US Open in 2019.

Washington Kastles

The Washington Kastles come into the 2020 World TeamTennis season as six-time champions. This includes five consecutive titles from 2011-15. Robby Ginepri is the Kastles’ coach this season.

7-time Grand Slam Singles champion Venus Williams headlines the Kastles’ 2020 lineup. This will be Williams’ ninth WTT season. Additionally, Nicholas Monroe and Arina Rodionova return to the Kastles squad in 2020.

The Kastles also add first-year WTT players Bernarda Pera and Marcelo Arévalo to their lineup.

Main Photo from Getty.