|Current season, competition or edition:|
2020 World TeamTennis season
|Owner(s)||Fred Luddy and Eric Davidson|
|No. of teams||9|
|Headquarters||Rancho Santa Fe, CA, United States|
|New York Empire|
|Most titles|| Sacramento Capitals (6)|
Washington Kastles (6)
CBS Sports Network (also available in CAN)
Outside US and CAN
|Official website|| www|
World TeamTennis (WTT) is a mixed-gender professional tennis league played with a team format in the United States, which was founded in 1973.
Originally played on a no-line court, each match consists of five sets. Each set features a different configuration (men's singles, men's doubles, women's singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles). Prior to each match, coaches decide the order in which the sets will be played. Each player on a team usually plays in at least one of the five sets. Scoring is no-advantage; there is no requirement to win a game by two scores; at deuce, whoever scores the next point wins the game. The first team to reach five games wins each set. A nine-point tiebreaker is played if a set reaches four-all. One point is awarded for each game won. If necessary, extended play and a supertiebreaker are played to determine the winner of the match.
The league's season normally takes place in the summer months. Players from the ATP and WTA take a break from their tour schedules to partake in World TeamTennis.
World Team Tennis (WTT) was founded in 1973 by Dennis Murphy, Dick Butera, Fred Barman, Jordan Kaiser, and attorney and promoter Larry King, each of whom organized and owned the various participating teams of the fledgling professional tennis league. Murphy had previously founded the World Hockey Association, and gave a number of WHA club owners preferential options on WTT franchises.
Charles "Chuck" Reichblum (now popularly known as "Dr. Knowledge"),industrialist John H. Hillman III, and lawyer William "Bill" Sutton, who became the owners of the Pittsburgh Triangles, had, in 1972, founded the similar National Tennis League (NTL), a forerunner to WTT and Reichblum's brainchild. Founding members of WTT were reported to have been invited to join the NTL prior to formation of the competing WTT in 1973.
In 1974, Billie Jean King began the first WTT season by securing the professional women tennis players, and Dr. Leonard Bloom, Arthur Ashe and Wilt Chamberlain, securing the professional men tennis players..
The league began play in May 1974, with George MacCall as Commissioner of the 16 teams, many with tennis-themed nicknames. The Eastern Division consisted of the Atlantic Section: Baltimore Banners, Boston Lobsters, New York Sets, Philadelphia Freedoms; and the Central Section: Cleveland Nets, Detroit Loves, Pittsburgh Triangles, Toronto-Buffalo Royals. The Western Division consisted of the Gulf Plains Section: Chicago Aces, Florida Flamingos, Houston E-Z Riders, Minnesota Buckskins; and the Pacific Section: Denver Racquets, Hawaii Leis, Los Angeles Strings, San Francisco Golden Gaters. In later years, teams included
The original league format included a four-colored tennis court, a 44-contest season, and teams of at least two men and two women. A match consisted of the first player or team to win five games, with a nine-point tiebreaker at four-all, and no-ad scoring in women's singles and doubles, men's singles and doubles, and mixed doubles. This made WTT the first professional sports league to grant equal status to each man and woman competing for their teams.
Following the initial 1974 season several teams moved, folded, or failed to meet the financial requirements of the league, and the league also added one expansion team, the San Diego Friars. For the 1975 season World Team Tennis consisted of 10 teams, and it remained with that number of teams throughout the rest of the existence of the first league.
WTT also held annual All-Star games for the seasons from 1975 to 1978. Marty Riessen (Cleveland) and Greer Stevens (Boston) won Most Valuable Players (MVP) honors for the inaugural all-star gala won by the East, 28–21, at the Inglewood Forum in Los Angeles. In 1976 the West All-Stars, led by Chris Evert and Betty Stöve, capped an incredible comeback when they defeated Billie Jean King and Evonne Goolagong in a super tiebreaker, 5–4, giving the West a stunning 28–27 overtime victory at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. After trailing at one stage by 24–17, the West, led by Stove and Dianne Fromholtz, won the final set plus two games in overtime to draw the West All-Stars even at 27.Tom Okker (San Francisco) and Dianne Fromholtz (Los Angeles) won MVP honors that year. In the 1977 All Star Game held at the San Diego Sports Arena, Björn Borg (Cleveland-Pittsburgh) and Betty Stove (Seattle-Portland) captured MVP awards as the East bested the West, 23–18. WTT held its final All-Star event in Las Vegas in 1978.
WTT was the first professional sports experience for Jerry Buss (eventual owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL's Los Angeles Kings), and for Bob Kraft (eventual owner of the NFL's New England Patriots and MLS's New England Revolution).
Elton John, a friend of Billie Jean King, wrote the hit single "Philadelphia Freedom" as a theme song for his favorite team.
The first league ended play in 1978.
The league resumed play in 1981 as TeamTennis and fluctuated between four and twelve teams. In 1992, the name was changed back to World TeamTennis (WTT). In 2005, twelve teams competed.
Billie Jean King became Commissioner and major owner of the league in 1984, following her retirement from tournament tennis competition. She retired as Commissioner in February 2001 and Ilana Kloss became the new commissioner. In March 2017, King sold WTT to venture capitalist Mark Ein and founder of ServiceNow Fred Luddy.
In 2013, World TeamTennis was re-branded Mylan World TeamTennis after Mylan, a generics and specialty pharmaceuticals company, announced a three-year agreement to serve as the title sponsor of WTT.
In Jan 2019, Carlos Silva became the CEO and ushered in new deals with CBS and ESPN creating the largest ever audience for WTT on July 21 on CBS broadcast.
Many top tennis players have participated in the league over the years, including King, Rod Laver, Björn Borg, Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Evonne Goolagong, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova,Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters, Martina Hingis, John Isner, Sam Querrey, Sloane Stephens, Naomi Osaka, Frances Tiafoe and many more. Connors and Goolagong were not allowed to participate in the 1974 French Open due to their associations with WTT. Connors' exclusion from the French Open denied him the opportunity to become the first male player since Rod Laver to win all four Major singles titles in a calendar year.
League play resumed in 1981 as TeamTennis with four California teams, expanding to eight teams in 1982. In 1985 a recreational league for non-professionals was added, which was co-branded with the professional league.
In 1992, the current name World TeamTennis was restored.
In 2000 the current logo was adopted. In 2005 & 2006 the league consisted of 12 teams and in 2007 the Hartford FoxForce ceased operations. Prior to the 2008 season, the Houston Wranglers ceased operations and the Washington Kastles joined the league. In the 2009 season, 10 teams competed: Boston, NY Buzz, NY Sportime, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Kansas City, Newport Beach, Sacramento, Springfield, and St. Louis. Sacramento won the year-end Championship six times.
Before the start of the 2011 season the New York Buzz and the New York Sportimes merged into one New York team, the Sportimes.During the 2011 season the Washington Kastles completed a perfect 16–0 schedule, winning their second championship in three seasons.
In 2012, the Washington Kastles completed their second consecutive perfect season, going 16–0 for the second season in a row to become the first professional sports franchise to go two complete seasons without a loss. Their 32-match winning streak is one shy of the major professional sports record of 33 consecutive wins set by the 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. They began the next season with 2 wins making their streak 34 games, setting the new record.
In 2013, World TeamTennis was renamed Mylan World TeamTennis after Mylan signed a three-year deal as the title sponsor. The Kansas City Explorers relocated to Irving, Texas, and became the Texas Wild. On November 21, 2013, the Orange County Breakers were sold, relocated to Austin, Texas and renamed the Austin Aces.On January 16, 2014, the New York Sportimes were sold, relocated to San Diego and renamed the San Diego Aviators. On February 4, 2014, the Sacramento Capitals were relocated to Las Vegas and renamed the Las Vegas Neon. On March 5, 2014 the Las Vegas Neon franchise was terminated, leaving the league with seven teams.
On February 23, 2015, WTT announced that a new ownership group had taken control of the Texas Wild and moved the team to Citrus Heights, California, renaming it the California Dream.
On January 13, 2016, WTT announced that the California Dream franchise had been terminated.On February 17, 2016, the Boston Lobsters had ceased operations and had been replaced with a new franchise called the New York Empire. On March 13, 2017, Billie Jean King announced the sale of her majority share in WTT to Mark Ein, Washington Kastles founder and owner and Fred Luddy, owner of the San Diego Aviators.
In March 2019, the league announced its expansion to eight teams for the 2019 season, with the creation of the Orlando Storm and the Vegas Rollers.
On October 23, 2019, the league announced it would be awarding a record $5 million in prize money, including an additional $1 million for the postseason, during its 45th season and would be expanding again, adding two new franchises in 2020.
In February 2020, the league announced its expansion to nine teams for the 2020 season with the Chicago Smash.
In June 2020, WTT announced it would be the first major professional tennis league to resume operations since the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19. The league committed to play the entirety of its 45th season at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia from July 12-Aug. 2.
|Chicago Smash||Chicago, Illinois||Credit Union 1 Arena|
|New York Empire||New York City||Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning|
|Orange County Breakers||Newport Beach, California||Palisades Tennis Club|
|Orlando Storm||Orlando, Florida||USTA National Campus|
|Philadelphia Freedoms||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Michael J. Hagan Arena|
|San Diego Aviators||Carlsbad, California||Omni La Costa Resort and Spa|
|Springfield Lasers||Springfield, Missouri||Mediacom Stadium at Cooper Tennis Complex|
|Vegas Rollers||Paradise, Nevada||Orleans Arena|
|Washington Kastles||Washington, D.C.||Kastles Stadium at Union Market|
|1974||Denver Racquets||Philadelphia Freedoms||55–45|
|1975||Pittsburgh Triangles||San Francisco Golden Gaters||74–65|
|1976||New York Apples||San Francisco Golden Gaters||91–57|
|1977||New York Apples||Phoenix Racquets||55–39|
|1978||Los Angeles Strings||Boston Lobsters||108–93|
|1979–1980 no tournament|
|1981||Los Angeles Strings||regular season champion, no playoffs|
|1982||Dallas Stars||Phoenix Sunsets||27–22|
|1983||Chicago Fyre||Los Angeles Strings||26–20|
|1984||San Diego Buds||Long Beach Breakers||30–13|
|1985||San Diego Buds||St. Louis Slims||25–24|
|1986||San Antonio Racquets||Sacramento Capitals||25–23|
|1987||Charlotte Heat||San Antonio Racquets||25–20|
|1988||Charlotte Heat||New Jersey Stars||27–22|
|1989||San Antonio Racquets||Sacramento Capitals||27–25|
|1990||Los Angeles Strings||Raleigh Edge||27–16|
|1991||Atlanta Thunder||Los Angeles Strings||27–16|
|1992||Atlanta Thunder||Newport Beach Dukes||30–17|
|1993||Wichita Advantage||Newport Beach Dukes||26–23|
|1994||New Jersey Stars||Idaho Sneakers||28–25|
|1995||New Jersey Stars||Atlanta Thunder||28–20|
|1996||St. Louis Aces||Delaware Smash||27–16|
|1997||Sacramento Capitals||regular season champion, finals rained out|
|1998||Sacramento Capitals||New York Buzz||30–13|
|1999||Sacramento Capitals||Springfield Lasers||23–15|
|2000||Sacramento Capitals||Delaware Smash||21–20|
|2001||Philadelphia Freedoms||Springfield Lasers||20–18|
|2002||Sacramento Capitals||New York Buzz||21–13|
|2003||Delaware Smash||Sacramento Capitals||21–14|
|2004||Newport Beach Breakers||Delaware Smash||23–17|
|2005||New York Sportimes||Newport Beach Breakers||21–18|
|2006||Philadelphia Freedoms||Newport Beach Breakers||21–14|
|2007||Sacramento Capitals||New York Buzz||24–20|
|2008||New York Buzz||Kansas City Explorers||21–18|
|2009||Washington Kastles||Springfield Lasers||23–20|
|2010||Kansas City Explorers||New York Sportimes||21–18|
|2011||Washington Kastles||St. Louis Aces||23–19|
|2012||Washington Kastles||Sacramento Capitals||20–19|
|2013||Washington Kastles||Springfield Lasers||25–12|
|2014||Washington Kastles||Springfield Lasers||25–13|
|2015||Washington Kastles||Austin Aces||24–18|
|2016||San Diego Aviators||Orange County Breakers||25–14|
|2017||Orange County Breakers||San Diego Aviators||22–18|
|2018||Springfield Lasers||Philadelphia Freedoms||19–18|
|2019||Springfield Lasers||New York Empire||20–19|
|2020||New York Empire||Chicago Smash||21–20|
Current WTT teams are shown in bold.
|1||Sacramento Capitals||6||4||1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007|
|2||Washington Kastles||6||0||2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015|
|3||Los Angeles Strings||3||1||1978, 1981, 1990|
|4||Springfield Lasers||2||5||2018, 2019|
|5||Orange County Breakers||2||3||2004, 2017|
|6||Philadelphia Freedoms||2||2||2001, 2006|
|7||Atlanta Thunder||2||1||1991, 1992|
|New Jersey Stars||2||1||1994, 1995|
|San Antonio Racquets||2||1||1986, 1989|
|10||Charlotte Heat||2||0||1987, 1988|
|New York Apples||2||0||1976, 1977|
|San Diego Buds||2||0||1984, 1985|
|New York Buzz||1||3||2008|
|15||Kansas City Explorers||1||1||2010|
|New York Empire||1||1||2020|
|New York Sportimes||1||1||2005|
|San Diego Aviators||1||1||2016|
|St. Louis Aces||1||1||1996|
|3||New York City, New York||Apples, Buzz, Sportimes, Empire||5||5|
|4||Los Angeles, California||Strings||3||1|
|San Diego, California||Buds, Aviators||3||1|
|6||Newport Beach, California||Dukes, Breakers||2||5|
|Franklin Township, New Jersey||Stars||2||1|
|San Antonio, Texas||Racquets||2||1|
|12||Charlotte, North Carolina||Heat||2||0|
|14||St. Louis, Missouri||Slims, Aces||1||2|
|15||Chicago, Illinois||Fyre, Smash||1||1|
|Kansas City, Missouri||Explorers||1||1|
For much of World Team Tennis' history, its distinct court was an instant symbol for fans to recognize what they were watching. The iconic four-color (calico) court originated in the early 1970s and was unveiled for the third season in 1976.It was originally created to eliminate court lines (no-line court). Originally, the service boxes were blue and green, the baseline area brown and the doubles alleys maroon. These colors were chosen to represent the different tennis court surfaces: green for grass, blue for hard, maroon for clay and brown for dirt.
The league's technicolor playing surface served as a trendsetter for the rest of the tennis world. The Indian Wells Masters has purple courts.
Over time, lines were introduced to WTT's courts, purple replaced the brown and they reverted to traditional solid-colored courts. But in 2006, the league returned full-time to the signature calico/checkerboard pattern.
In 2019, along new CEO Carlos Silva, the league made efforts to modernize and update its look and branding and that included a switch to a deep blue playing surface and gray outer court. In partnership with DecoTurf, these colors were determined to be the best for livestreaming and television.
The New York Buzz was a professional tennis team competing in World TeamTennis (WTT). The team was originally based in Schenectady, New York from 1995 to 2007, before moving to Albany, New York in 2008, and Guilderland, New York in 2009. The team was founded as the New York OTBzz in 1995, before changing its name to the Schenectady County Electrics in 1999, and finally adopting the name New York Buzz in 2001. In 2008, the team won its third Eastern Conference Championship and went on to defeat the Kansas City Explorers to capture its first and only King Trophy in its fourth appearance in the WTT Final.
The New York Sportimes were a professional tennis team competing in World TeamTennis (WTT). The team was originally based in eastern Long Island from 2000 to 2002, before moving to Westchester County, New York in 2003, and then to New York City in 2009. The team was founded as the New York Hamptons in 2000, before changing its name to the New York Sportimes in 2003. In 2005, the team made its first playoff appearance and went on to defeat the Newport Beach Breakers in the WTT Final to win its first King Trophy.
The Washington Kastles is one of eight franchises that compete in World TeamTennis.
The 2014 World TeamTennis season was the 39th season of the top professional team tennis league in the United States. Pursuant to a sponsorship agreement with Mylan N.V., the official name of the league was Mylan World TeamTennis in 2014. The Washington Kastles defeated the Springfield Lasers in the WTT Final to win their fourth consecutive King Trophy.
The San Diego Aviators are a World TeamTennis (WTT) team that plays at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California in the United States of America. The team is the successor to two WTT franchises. The first was created in 1995, as the New York OTBzz, later renamed the Schenectady County Electrics and then the New York Buzz. The second was created in 2000, as the New York Hamptons, later renamed the New York Sportimes. The Aviators, founded in 1995, are the oldest continuously operating franchise in WTT. The team has won the King Trophy as WTT champions three times: once playing as the New York Sportimes in 2005, once as the New York Buzz in 2008, and once as the San Diego Aviators in 2016. As of 2016, the three championships is the second most of any active WTT franchise behind the Washington Kastles, who have won six.
The 2014 San Diego Aviators season was the 20th season of the franchise in World TeamTennis (WTT) and its first playing in San Diego, California.
The 2013 New York Sportimes season was the 19th season of the franchise in World TeamTennis (WTT) including the history it inherited from the 2011 merger with the New York Buzz, the 15th season since the founding of the New York metropolitan area-franchise and its third playing home matches in both New York City and the Capital District.
The Boston Lobsters were a charter franchise of World Team Tennis (WTT) founded by Dick and Ken Butera as the Philadelphia Freedoms. The Freedoms played only one season in Philadelphia before being sold on March 27, 1975, moving to Boston and changing their name to the Lobsters. Following the 1978 season, Lobsters owner Robert Kraft announced that the franchise would fold.
The 2014 Washington Kastles season was the seventh season of the franchise in World TeamTennis (WTT).
The 2014 Springfield Lasers season was the 19th season of the franchise in World TeamTennis (WTT).
The 2014 Philadelphia Freedoms season was the 14th season of the franchise in World TeamTennis (WTT).
The 2015 World TeamTennis season was the 40th season of the top professional team tennis league in the United States. Pursuant to a sponsorship agreement with Mylan N.V., the official name of the league was Mylan World TeamTennis in 2015. The Washington Kastles defeated the Austin Aces in the WTT Final to win their fifth consecutive King Trophy.
The 2014 Boston Lobsters season was the tenth season of the franchise in World TeamTennis (WTT).
The New York Empire is a World TeamTennis (WTT) team that plays its home matches at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in the Bronx, New York City.
The 2016 World TeamTennis season was the 41st season of the top professional team tennis league in the United States. Pursuant to a sponsorship agreement with Mylan N.V., the official name of the league was Mylan World TeamTennis in 2016.
The 2016 San Diego Aviators season was the 22nd season of the franchise in World TeamTennis (WTT) and its third playing in San Diego County, California.
The 2016 Orange County Breakers season was the 14th season of the franchise in World TeamTennis (WTT) and its 12th season in Orange County, California, the first after returning from playing two seasons in Greater Austin, Texas as the Austin Aces.
The 2008 World TeamTennis season was the 33rd season of the top professional team tennis league in the United States.
The 2017 World TeamTennis season was the 42nd season of the top professional team tennis league in the United States. Pursuant to a sponsorship agreement with Mylan N.V., the official name of the league was Mylan World TeamTennis in 2017.
The 2017 New York Empire season was the second season of the franchise in World TeamTennis (WTT). The Empire finished third in WTT with a record of 7 wins and 7 losses.