Wozniacki Leads Freedoms Past Empire in WTT Action

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Credit all photos to Lee Seidner

Caroline Wozniacki and Naomi Broady won two events each, leading the Philadelphia Freedoms to a 22-19 extended-play victory over the New York Empire presented by Citi in Mylan World TeamTennis action at Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club Monday night. Wozniacki’s wins came in singles and doubles, while Broady took the doubles and mixed doubles events for the victors.

Guido Pella, competing in his next to last match for the Empire before leaving for Rio to represent his native Argentina, started things off well for the hosts, topping Lukas Lacko, 5-2, in men’s singles. But the Freedom’s women's doubles squad of Wozniacki and Broady rallied to bounce Christina McHale and Maria Irigoyen, 5-4, trim the Empire advantage to 9-7. Next, Broady and Fabrice Martin won their mixed doubles event, 5-3, over the Empire’s Maria Irigoyen and Neal Skupski to even the match at 12-12.

That set up the event many fans were awaiting--the women’s singles set between McHale and former world No. 1 Wozniacki. The Danish star blanked her local rival, defeating McHale, 5-0, for a commanding 17-12 Philadephia lead. Men's doubles closed out the match, as Skupski and Pella won, 5-4, over Martin and Lacko, necessitating extended play with the Empire trailing, 21-17. The Empire duo won the next two games in extended play to edge to within 21-19, but Philadelphia closed out the win.

“We knew it was going to be a tough match because we were five games down heading in,” said Pella. “We did our best, played really good and we had our chances, but they served really well and deserved to win.

This is my first experience with World TeamTennis. We lost our first two matches but we were close in both, and tomorrow we have a difficult match against the Kastles again. We’re just going to keep improving our game and try to get the first win for New York.”

The Empire visit the five-time defending champion Washington Kastles in their next action on Tuesday then return home on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Springfield Lasers at Forest Hills Stadium. Philadelphia hosts the Lasers in the Freedoms’ first home match on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at The Pavilion at Villanova University.

Philadelphia Freedoms (2-0) d. New York Empire (0-2), 22-19 (extended play)

Men’s Singles: Guido Pella (NYE) d. Lukas Lacko (PHL), 5-2

Women’s Doubles: Caroline Wozniacki/Naomi Broady (PHL) d. Christina McHale/Maria Irigoyen (NYE), 5-4

Mixed Doubles: Naomi Broady/Fabrice Martin (PHL) d. Maria Irigoyen/Neal Skupski (NYE), 5-3

Women’s Singles: Caroline Wozniacki (PHL) d. Christina McHale (NYE) , 5-0

Men’s Doubles: Neal Skupski/Guido Pella (NYE) d. Lukas Lacko/Fabrice Martin (PHL), 5-4 (2-1 extended play)