New York Empire Winning Streak Halted by Vegas Rollers; Drop Tightly Contested Match 24-20
LAS VEGAS (July 23, 2019) – The New York Empire presented by Citi dropped a competitive match to the Vegas Rollers Tuesday night, 24-20, at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Four out of five sets were decided by a tiebreak, with the Rollers able to win three of them to secure the victory. The Empire falls to 4-4 while the Rollers improve to 3-5.
The hard-serving Sam Querrey, fresh off a run to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, formed a formidable pairing with Harriet Dart and got Vegas off to a strong start, defeating the Empire’s mixed doubles duo of Neal Skupski and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, 5-3.
In tremendous, back-and-forth action in the second set of women’s doubles, the Rollers squeaked past the Empire as Dart and Asia Muhammad narrowly got the better of Martinez Sanchez and Kirsten Flipkens, 5-4, in a tiebreak. In the incredibly competitive set, the Rollers won 29 points while the Empire won 28 points.
With the Empire trailing 10-7 after two sets, the men’s doubles team of Skupski and Ulises Blanch took to the court with the team within striking distance. In yet another hotly contested set, the Rollers just edged the Empire with Querrey and Matt Reid each serving a pair of aces in the 5-4 win, extending the Rollers lead to 15-11.
In women’s singles action, the Empire’s talented veteran Kirsten Flipkens delivered just when the team needed it most. In the third straight set decided by a tiebreak, the former World No. 13 picked up a huge victory over a combination of Muhammad and Dart, 5-4, to cut the deficit to 19-16 entering the final set. Muhammad replaced Dart at 2-2 after the latter suffered an injury.
In the final set, a matchup of the experienced Querrey and the youthful Blanch was worth the price of admission itself. In yet another set decided by a tiebreak, the 31-year-old Querrey outlasted the 21-year-old Blanch. Each player fired four aces in the set, but it was Querrey who won the tiebreak, securing the victory for the Rollers, 24-20.
|New York Empire at Vegas Rollers – Box Score|
|New York Empire||3||4||4||5||4||20|
Mixed Doubles: Dart/Querrey (LVR) def. Martinez Sanchez/Skupski (NYE), 5-3
Women’s Doubles: Muhammad/Dart (LVR) def. Martinez Sanchez/Flipkens (NYE), 5-4
Men’s Doubles: Querrey/Reid (LVR) def. Skupski/Blanch (NYE), 5-4
Women’s Singles: Flipkens (NYE) def. Muhammad/Dart (LVR), 5-4
Men’s Singles: Querrey (LVR) def. Blanch (NYE), 5-4
The Empire continues its west swing tomorrow night, July 24, against the Orange County (Calif.) Breakers before travelling to San Diego to challenge the Aviators on Thursday, July 25. The Empire return home to Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning next Monday night, July 29, against the Springfield (Mo.) Lasers.