Venus Williams will substitute for sister Serena Williams tonight at Kastles Stadium at The Wharf when Washington (9-0) faces the Kansas City Explorers (3-6). Will she have anything left after last night’s heroics in New York?
Rallying the Kastles from six games down and saving four match points against former world No. 1 Martina Hingis, Williams kept Washington’s winning streak alive in dramatic fashion, propelling the Kastles to their biggest comeback in franchise history in a 21-20 victory over the New York Sportimes.
When Williams’ women’s singles set began, the Kastles trailed 19-13. But Williams, 32, trounced Hingis, 31, in the set 5-1. In World Team Tennis, when the final set is won by the trailing team, it goes to overtime.
With New York up 20-18, Hingis needed to win one of two games to close out the match. After Williams broke serve in the first game, Hingis threatened to do the same in the second, winning the first three points against Williams’ serve. But Williams rallied to win the next 11 points – four to capture her service game and seven straight in a supertiebreaker to keep the Kastles’ WTT record streak alive at 25.
Williams’ brilliant play came after showing some rust on Monday in a Kastles win over the Boston Lobsters, losing 5-0 to Irina Falconi in her women’s singles match. She hadn’t played since losing in the first round at Wimbledon. Williams will represent the United States in the Olympics with play beginning on Friday.
This is the final week of the regular season for the WTT. Washington will play its final home match Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Freedoms, then close on the road with matches at New York (Wednesday), Kansas City (Friday), and Springfield (Saturday).
The Kastles will resume on Sept. 14 in the Eastern Conference Championship, with the finals on Sunday, Sept. 16. Both rounds will be played in Charleston, S.C.