NEW YORK EMPIRE PICK UP FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON IN THRILLING FASHION, DEFEATING THE SAN DIEGO AVIATORS 21-17
Dennis Novikov dominates Marcus Willis in the decisive fifth set
NEW YORK (July 30, 2018) – The New York Empire presented by Citi used a strong performance from all four rostered players to pick up their first win of the season, defeating the San Diego Aviators 21-17 at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in World TeamTennis presented by GEICO action Monday night. The Empire move to 1-11 while the Aviators drop to 6-5.
The evening began with mixed doubles, where the Empire duo of Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Neal Skupski played perhaps their best set of the entire season. Martinez Sanchez and Skupski both displayed their incredible skills at the net en route to a comfortable 5-2 set win over the Aviators’ Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Marcin Matkowski. Making her WTT debut in place of Tatjana Maria, 17-year-old Taylor Johnson showed that she has a bright future in tennis, playing Naomi Broady tight before eventually falling 5-3 in women’s singles action.
The Empire’s strong doubles play continued in the third set of men’s doubles as Skupski and Dennis Novikov dug deep to win the decisive tiebreaker and take the set, 5-4, over Matkowski and Marcus Willis. The Empire were unable to make it a perfect three for three in doubles sets as Martinez Sanchez and Johnson dropped the fourth set, 5-3, to Groenefeld and Broady as the Aviators evened the match at 16 games apiece.
The match would come down to the final set of men’s singles as the Empire’s Dennis Novikov met former Empire player Marcus Willis. It was Novikov who was triumphant, looking relaxed and confident from the opening serve. Novikov showcased a wide array of skills in the dominating 5-1 set win over Willis, securing the Empire’s first win of the season, 21-17.
|New York Empire at San Diego Aviators Box Score|
|New York Empire||5||3||5||3||5||21|
|San Diego Aviators||2||5||4||5||1||17|
Mixed Doubles: Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez/Neal Skupski (NYE) def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Marcin Matkowski (SAN), 5-2
Women’s Singles: Naomi Broady (SAN) def. Taylor Johnson (NYE), 5-3
Men’s Doubles: Dennis Novikov/Skupski (NYE) def. Markowski/Marcus Willis (SAN), 5-4
Women’s Doubles: Groenefeld/Broady (SAN) def. Martinez Sanchez/Johnson (NYE), 5-3
Men’s Singles: Novikov (NYE) def. Willis (SAN), 5-1
The Empire return to action on Wednesday night, travelling to Philadelphia to take on the Freedoms before closing out the season on Thursday night at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at 7:00 p.m. ET.