(January 23, 2013) The City of Irving,Texas will be home to a new World TeamTennis team beginning with the 2013 season. The team, which played for the past 20 seasons in Kansas City as the Kansas City Explorers, will relocate to their new home court in Irving and be renamed in a fan voting contest.
The name of the new team will be determined through fan voting at www.WTT.com/Texas. Fans can vote immediately on several choices or add their own write-in candidates until Thursday, January 31.
The team will compete in Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO which showcases the best in professional team tennis competition, playing an innovative coed team format over a three-week season in July. Co-founded by Billie Jean King in the 1970s and based on a concept of gender equity, Mylan WTT offers unique access to the sport and some of its greatest champions who have played over the past 38 seasons.
“We are excited to bring Mylan World TeamTennis to Irving and become part of the great sports community in North Texas,” said Mylan WTT CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss. “Fans can look forward to some of the best players in the world coming to Irving each summer. The team competition will be intense.”
“This deal is a win-win for the Irving residents and hotels and businesses that will benefit from the tourism generated by having the only professional tennis team in Texas,” stated Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne.
Team co-owner and general manager Jeff Launius will retain the rights to his 2012 team lineup which includes the world’s top doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan, and Aisam Qureshi, No. 14 in the ATP doubles rankings.
Launius will begin to put together his 2013 squad at the Marquee Player Draft on Tuesday, Feb. 12. The team plans to bring back the Bryan Brothers and will announce other marquee matches following the Draft. The team roster will be finalized at the Mylan WTT Roster Player Draft on Tuesday, March 12.
“We are very pleased with the support we’ve received from the City of Irving and look forward to a long and successful partnership,” said Launius. “We look forward to building our new fan base in the metroplex and working with the corporate community to further enhance the overall experience for the community.”
The 2013 season of Mylan World TeamTennis runs during July in eight U.S. markets. The Texas team will play in the Western Conference along with the Orange County Breakers (Irvine, Calif.); Sacramento Capitals (Sacramento, Calif.) and the Springfield Lasers (Springfield, Mo.). The Eastern Conference includes the 2012 Champion Washington Kastles (Washington, D.C.), Boston Lobsters (Boston, Mass.), New York Sportimes (New York, N.Y.) and the Philadelphia Freedoms (Villanova, Pa.).
Each Mylan WTT team is comprised of two men, two women and a coach. Team matches consist of five sets, with one set each of men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
The first team to reach five games wins each set. One point is awarded for each game won, and a nine-point tiebreaker is played if a set reaches four all. If necessary, Overtime and a Supertiebreaker are played to determine the outright winner of the match.