Tuesday, July 14, 2015

California has Dream inaugural home match in WTT

Mike Bryan, left, and Bob Bryan, right, are scheduled to play
three matches for the California Dream later this month. Their
father, Wayne, middle, coached the Dream's predecessor, the
Sacramento Capitals, from 2002 through their final season in
2013. File photo by Paul Bauman
   The format and setting were the same.
   But Monday night's World TeamTennis match at a temporary stadium at Sunrise Mall in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights had a diferent feel.
   For the first time in 15 years, neither coach Wayne Bryan nor doubles star Mark Knowles was present.
   And for the first time in 30 years, the home team was not the Sacramento Capitals.
   Playing in its inaugural home match, the California Dream defeated the Springfield (Mo.) Lasers 23-18 in overtime as WTT returned to the Sacramento area after a one-year absence.
   Doubles specialist Anabel Medina Garrigues led the way, winning 5-2 in both of her sets. Medina Garrigues, a 32-year-old Spaniard, won the French Open women's doubles title in 2008 and 2009 with countrywoman Virginia Ruano Pascual, who retired in 2010 at 36.
   Bryan, 68, and Knowles, 43, also have retired. Bryan was a three-time WTT Coach of the Year (2004-06) and Knowles a three-time league Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007). They were practically synonymous with the Capitals.
   Bryan's twin sons, though, are scheduled to play for the Dream in three of its 14 regular-season matches. Bob and Mike Bryan, who have won a record 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles, are set for July 23 at home against San Diego, July 25 at Boston and July 26 at Philadelphia. 
   Coaching the Dream is David Macpherson, a 48-year-old former Capitals player who works with the Bryan brothers on the regular circuit.
   California (1-1) will host another former Capital, CoCo Vandeweghe, and the Philadelphia Freedoms (1-1) tonight at 7:30. Vandeweghe, the niece of former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe, reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals last week.
   The Dream moved from the Dallas area, where the team was known as the Texas Wild. The Capitals announced early last year that they were relocating to Las Vegas after 28 years because of the lack of a permanent tennis stadium.
   The team disbanded five weeks later, however, after owner Deepal Wannakuwatte was arrested on charges of defrauding investors of more than $100 million in his medical supply business. He is serving a 20-year prison term.
   The Dream is owned by Jeff Launius, who also controlled the team in Texas and previously Kansas City; Bob Kaliski, the president of the Harbor Point Tennis Club in Mill Valley (across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco); and Michael Malone, a Dallas-based investment banker.
In Citrus Heights, Calif.
   Men's singles -- Tennys Sandgren (Dream) def. Michael Russell 5-4.
   Women's doubles -- Jarka Gajdosova and Anabel Medina Garrigues (Dream) def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Varvara Lepchenko 5-2.
   Mixed doubles -- Neal Skupski and Medina Garrigues (Dream) def. Andre Begemann and Groenefeld 5-2.
   Women's singles -- Lepchenko (Lasers) def. Gajdosova 5-4.
   Men's doubles -- Begemann and Russell (Lasers) def. Sandgren and Skupski 5-3.
   Overtime -- Sandgren and Skupski (Dream) def. Begemann and Russell 1-0.

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