San Diego Tennis Team to Face Philadelphia After Winning Debut

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The San Diego Aviators will play host to the Philadelphia Freedoms in a World TeamTennis match at the Valley View Casino Center tonight, one day after defeating the Austin Aces, 23-11, in their debut.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King will be honored at the match. King is the owner of the Freedoms and majority owner of the league.

King was among the league's founders and played for the Freedoms in the league's inaugural 1974 season, inspiring her friend Elton John to co-write the chart-topping 1975 song "Philadelphia Freedom."

Philadelphia opened its season by defeating the Springfield Lasers, 21- 20, Sunday in Springfield, Missouri, as 18-year-old Taylor Townsend, who joined the team the day before, defeated Olga Govortsova, 5-4, in the final set to force overtime, held serve in overtime to send the match into a decisive super tiebreaker, which she won, 7-3.

In a World TeamTennis match, if the trailing team wins the final set, the match goes into overtime, which continues until the leading team wins one game or the match score is tied.

Townsend replaced Vicky Duval on the Freedoms' roster. It was announced on Friday that the 18-year-old Duval would miss the season to undergo treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma, the most common form of cancer in adolescents.

The Freedoms are wearing a special patch on their uniforms throughout the season to honor Duval.

The Aviators won four of five sets Monday night at the arena formerly known as the San Diego Sports Arena.

Andy Roddick, once the world's top-ranked men's player and 2003 U.S. Open singles champion, lost all three of his sets for Austin, which was also making its debut after playing the previous 11 seasons in Orange County, where they were known as the Newport Beach Breakers and Orange County Breakers.

Somdev Devvarman, the NCAA Division I men's singles champion in 2007 and 2008 while playing for the University of Virginia, and the highest player from India on the Association of Tennis Professionals singles rankings, opened the match by defeating Roddick, 5-2.

The Aviators' only loss came in the second set, women's singles, where Daniela Hantuchova lost to Vera Zvonareva, 5-3.

Kveta Peschke teamed with Raven Klaasen for a 5-2 victory over Roddick and Zvonareva in mixed doubles. Hantuchova and Peschke defeated Eva Hrdinova and Zvonareva, 5-2, in women's doubles.

The match concluded with Devvarman and Klaasen defeating Roddick and Treat Huey, 5-0.

—City News Service


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