Mylan World TeamTennis Begins Historic 40th Season
14 Jul, 2015
2015 Season Includes Service Clock, New Court Colors and National Television Package
Just hours after the last ball lands on the lawns of Wimbledon, professional tennis returned to the United States on Sunday, July 12 with the 40th season of Mylan World TeamTennis. The professional team tennis league co-founded by Billie Jean King began over 40 years ago, and returns in 2015 with seven teams competing in two conferences.
Mylan WTT joins an elite club as only the fifth U.S. professional sports league to reach the 40-season milestone, alongside Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the National Football League.
From its colorful courts to unique no-ad scoring system, Mylan WTT has been a pioneer in the sports world with many of the league’s modernizations recognized and adopted by others. In addition to being the first professional sports league to feature men and women competing equally on a team, Mylan WTT has showcased advancements such as cumulative scoring, on-court coaching, playing let serves, Extended Play and Supertiebreakers, and allowing fans to keep balls that have been hit into the stands. During a Mylan WTT match, fans are encouraged to cheer for their team while enjoying the music played between points.
The signature multi-colored courts will have a new look this year with an updated color scheme, featuring a combination of purple, red, blue and green court colors used at pro tour events and international competition.
Also new in 2015, the league introduces an on-court service clock which counts down 25 seconds from the end of a point to the next serve. The first time violation per set is a warning and additional violations will result in the loss of first service or point penalties.
Fans will be able to tune in for more than 45 hours of live match coverage on ESPN3. The league will televise matches on national, regional and local cable networks that reach over 80 million households throughout July and August, and weekly highlight shows will recap the best matches along with standings, stats, and player interviews from both conferences.
National TV matches featuring Andy Roddick (Austin Aces), Serena Williams (Washington Kastles), Bob and Mike Bryan (California Dream), and Eugenie Bouchard (Boston Lobsters) will air on Altitude Sports, Comcast Sportsnet outlets, Mediacom, MSG, and Tennis Channel. The 2015 Mylan WTT Finals will air live on ESPN3 on Sunday, August 2, at 11:30 a.m. ET, with ESPN2 joining the action at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Leif Shiras returns as the play-by commentator for all matches. Shiras will be joined by an analyst team including Katrina Adams, Rennae Stubbs, Mark Knowles, and sideline reporter Luke Jensen.
Six of the seven Mylan WTT franchises return to this revolutionary tennis format, joined by the newly-created California Dream, which brings the league back to the Northern California region.
A stacked roster headlines each team with a mix of next generation talent, current stars and No. 1s that span generations, ranging from 20-time major champion Serena Williams (Washington Kastles) and the world’s best men’s doubles team in Bob and Mike Bryan (California Dream) to the world’s top junior Taylor Fritz (San Diego Aviators).
Tennis’ top Americans continue to call Mylan WTT home, with Williams playing her seventh season after a stellar start to her WTA season, winning both the Australian and French Open titles. Her Kastles’ teammate is her sister Venus Williams, who joined the World TeamTennis Ownership Group in 2013 along with former No. 1 Andy Roddick who will play for his hometown Austin Aces this summer.
The Kastles also welcome back five-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Hingis for a third straight season. With three-time Mylan WTT Coach of the Year Murphy Jensen at the helm, the Washington Kastles are aiming for a record-breaking fifth straight King Trophy, having already written their names in the record books after winning a 34th consecutive match in 2013, surpassing the NBA’s 1971-72 Lakers. Washington is on the road in Boston for the first match of the 2015 Mylan WTT season at 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Bob and Mike Bryan have been the most dominant doubles players of the last decade and will anchor the California Dream for three regular season matches. The Bryans are the winners of three ATP World Tour titles in 2015, with Mike capturing the French Open mixed doubles title with Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Fritz is in the midst of a career-defining season, winning the Easter Bowl Championships to start a spring that would lead him into his first-ever Grand Slam boy’s singles final at the French Open. His efforts across singles and doubles saw him rise to No. 1 on the ITF junior rankings in June, and his big game is already translating onto the senior rankings. On Tuesday, June 23, Fritz won his first-ever ATP World Tour main draw match in Nottingham, U.K. The 17-year-old makes his Mylan WTT debut with the San Diego Aviators.
The 52-match schedule for the three-week season of Mylan World TeamTennis runs July 12-August 2, with the regular season concluding on July 29. Conference championships are scheduled for Thursday, July 30, and the 40th season concludes with the Mylan WTT Finals, on Sunday, August 2 on the home court of the Eastern Conference Champion.