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Sidelined Vegas Rollers players eager to begin season

Updated July 10, 2020 - 10:20 am

The World TeamTennis schedule takes on added importance this year for players used to traveling the world and playing on a near week-to-week basis.

They have been sidelined because of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the WTT season is a chance for them to get back on a court.

That includes the players on the Vegas Rollers, who open 1 p.m. Sunday against the Chicago Smash on CBS Sports Network. All nine WTT teams will play before no more than 500 fans at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

“I know for the athletes, they really miss competing,” Rollers coach Tim Blenkiron said. “I know with Asia (Muhammad), whom I’m very close with, she’s been competing almost around the clock for the better part of a decade without a break, playing through injuries, playing sick. And to have a forced break where you can’t even think about stepping foot on a tennis court, I think that part has been extraordinary for a lot of tennis players.

“I don’t think they realized how much they miss competing. When you do that week in and week out, it can seem a bit of a burden. But when it is taken away, you have a fresh perspective of it.”

Muhammad, who was raised in and still lives in Las Vegas, is ranked 49th in doubles in the Women’s Tennis Association Tour. The 29-year-old is a two-time doubles winner this year and a finalist in another tournament. One of her victories was teaming with Taylor Townsend to beat Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4 in New Zealand.

Sam Querrey, 32, is the Rollers’ most decorated singles player. He is a 10-time singles winner on the Association of Tennis Professionals Tour and was a semifinalist in 2017 at Wimbledon.

Also on the Rollers, twins Bob and Mike Bryan, 42, are the most successful doubles team in history. Mike Bryan is the ATP record holder with 123 career doubles victories, and Bob has 118. They have teamed to win 16 Grand Slam doubles titles, with Mike also winning two others.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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