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Springfield Lasers repeat as World TeamTennis champs in Las Vegas

Updated August 4, 2019 - 12:15 am

The Springfield Lasers won their second consecutive World TeamTennis championship by defeating the New York Empire on Saturday night at Orleans Arena.

The second-seeded Lasers lost three of five sets but won the title 20-19 on cumulative points to retain the Billie Jean King trophy in the first WTT championship played in Las Vegas.

Henderson resident Evan Song played a key role in the victory, teaming with Robert Lindstedt to defeat WTT MVP Neal Skupski and Ulises Blanch 5-2 in men’s doubles in the final set of the night. Song, a former player for the Vegas Rollers who was a last-minute injury replacement for the Lasers, earlier had lost to Blanch 5-3 in men’s singles.

“I really wanted to redeem myself from the singles,” Song said. “I was so disappointed that I couldn’t get that out for the team. I hate to let the team down, so I just wanted to give it my all for the last set.

“Being born and raised in Vegas, to play in front of my home crowd in an event like this, it was a dream for me.”

Springfield’s other victory was in mixed doubles, as Lindstedt and Abigal Spears defeated Skupski and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 5-2.

The Empire’s Kirsten Flipkens defeated Olga Govortsova 5-3 in women’s singles and teamed with Martinez Sanchez to edge Govortsova and Spears 5-4 in a tiebreaker in women’s doubles.

King, the WTT co-founder, said she’s a big fan of Las Vegas.

“I thought it was a great place to do it,” she said. “I’ve been coming to Vegas since the 60s, and I’ve always loved Vegas because I love entertainment.”

Springfield finished the season 11-5. New York, the No. 4 seed, was 9-7.

Contact Jonathan Eskin at jeskin@reviewjournal.com.

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