The defending champion San Diego Aviators were assured of a berth in Saturday’s World TeamTennis Finals even before play began in their 22-17 victory over the Washington Kastles on Wednesday in Carlsbad.
Once the Orange County Breakers won eight games against the Philadelphia Freedoms in their match in Newport Beach, which began an hour earlier, the New York Empire was eliminated, assuring the Aviators the second berth in the finals. The Breakers were assured of the first finals berth on Tuesday.
The finals will be played on the Aviators’ home court at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad on Saturday beginning at 5 p.m. and will air live on the broadband network ESPN3 with ESPN2 joining live coverage at 6 p.m.
The Aviators won each of the first three sets against the last-place Kastles to build an eight-game lead and withstand losses in the final two sets at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa.
Rajeev Ram won two sets for the Aviators (9-5), who concluded the regular season tied for first with Orange County, but will be seeded second for the final because the Breakers won more games in the four matches they played against each other. As the top seed, the Breakers get to determine the order of play.
Ram opened Wednesday’s match by defeating Sam Groth, 5-2 in men’s singles. Naomi Broady and Darija Jurak teamed for a 5-3 victory over Madison Brengle and Anastasia Rodionova in the second set, women’s doubles.
Ram and Raven Klaasen defeated Groth and Robert Lindstedt, 5-2, in men’s doubles, increasing the Aviators’ lead to 15-7.
Broady lost to Brengle 5-3 in women’s singles. Lindstedt and Rodionova defeated Klaasen and Jurak, 5-3, in mixed doubles, the final set.
Under World TeamTennis rules, if the trailing team wins the final set, the match continues until either the leading team wins one game or the match is tied.
Klaasen held serve in the first game of extended play to end the match and hand Washington (4-10) its seventh consecutive defeat.
— City News Service
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