INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (March 16, 2015) — World No. 1 and 19-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams will return this summer to team tennis action when the 40th season of Mylan WTT takes place July 12-Aug. 2, it was announced on Monday during the Mylan WTT Player Draft. This summer, Mylan WTT becomes only the fifth major professional team sports league in the U.S. to reach the 40th season milestone.
Former Wimbledon finalist and WTA Tour world-ranked No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard was selected by the Boston Lobsters with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft that took place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Monday.
Williams and Bouchard join an all-star 2015 Mylan WTT lineup that includes John Isner, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, Madison Keys and the world’s top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan.
Williams returns to the Washington Kastles for the first time since 2011, joining Martina Hingis and Venus Williams on the defending champion’s impressive lineup.
Bouchard became the first Canadian to reach the finals of a Grand Slam in singles and also reached the semifinals of the 2014 Australian Open and 2014 French Open. The 21-year-old was named the 2013 WTA Tour Newcomer of the Year, and in 2014 was the WTA Tour’s Most Improved Player award recipient.
Monday’s player draft included marquee and roster player selections, combining the two drafts for the first time in more than a decade. The 2015 regular season begins July 12 and concludes on August 2 with the Mylan WTT Finals. For more information on Mylan WTT, visit WTT.com.
Here is a team-by-team recap of the 2015 Mylan World TeamTennis Draft.
BOSTON LOBSTERS: The Boston Lobsters selected Bouchard with the first overall pick, and she will be joined by Irina Falconi, the first pick in the Roster Draft. The 24-year-old Falconi is a former Georgia Tech All American who is currently ranked No. 104 in the world. The Atlanta resident has a career-high ranking of No. 73 in singles and has won three ITF singles titles during her career. Other members of the Boston squad are Scott Lipsky, Chase Buchanan and Arantxa Parra Santonja. Jan-Michael Gambill is the coach of the Lobsters.
CALIFORNIA DREAM: The California Dream, the newest team in Mylan WTT, put together a lineup anchored by world No. 48 Jarmila Gajdosova, and the world’s top ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan. The Dream picked up the Bryan brothers in a pre-draft trade with the San Diego Aviators for financial consideration. Born in Slovakia, Gajdosova currently represents Australia and is a resident of Dallas. She has won two WTA singles titles during her- career. She was the Mylan WTT Rookie of the Year in 2007 and led her Kansas City team in 2010 to the Mylan WTT title. Also joining the Dream this season are 2014 Mylan WTT Rookie of the Year Anabel Medina Garrigues, Tennys Sandgren and Aisam Qureshi. The Dream are coached by David Macpherson.
AUSTIN ACES: Nicole Gibbs, who is originally from Cincinnati but grew up in Southern California, was an All-American at Stanford. In 2012, she captured both the NCAA singles and doubles titles before turning pro. Gibbs won her first Grand Slam main draw match at the 2014 US Open where she advanced to the third round. The Aces also added Alla Kudryavtseva, Jarmere Jenkins and Teymuraz Gabashvili to their 2015 squad. Rick Leach is the coach of the Austin Aces.
PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Born in Chicago and training in Boca Raton, Fla., Townsend, 18, was a celebrated junior player winning the Junior Australian Open in both singles and doubles. She also partnered with Bouchard to win the 2012 Junior Wimbledon. This is Townsend’s second year with the Freedoms. The Freedoms only added one new face to their team lineup with Robby Ginepri. 2014 Mylan WTT Male MVP Marcelo Melo and Liezel Huber also return to the Freedoms. Josh Cohen is back as the team coach.
SAN DIEGO AVIATORS: The Aviators picked up Madison Keys with their marquee round selection. San Diego used their first round roster pick to select rising star Taylor Fritz, a world top 10 ITF junior. The 17-year-old Fritz, from Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., still competes as an amateur. Fritz’s father Guy was a successful touring pro in the early 1970s, and his mother Kathy May was a highly-ranked American who made the quarterfinals at three Grand Slams. The young star will be joined by returning Aviators doubles standouts Raven Klaasen and Kveta Peschke and new addition Chani Scheepers. John Lloyd is the coach of the San Diego Aviators.
SPRINGFIELD LASERS: The Lasers picked up the rights to John Isner in a pre-draft trade with Boston. In the roster portion of today’s draft, Springfield selected Andre Begemann, a 30-year-old German who was a Pepperdine All-American. He has competed at all four Grand Slams and has won four ATP World Tour doubles titles. Alison Riske, ranked No. 44 in the world, joins the Lasers. Additionally, Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Michael Russell return from the team that advanced to the 2014 Mylan WTT Finals. John-Laffnie de Jager returns at the Lasers coach.
WASHINGTON KASTLES: The Kastles are off to a great start in their quest to win a record fifth consecutive title. After adding Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Martina Hingis in the marquee rounds, the team picked up American Sam Querrey with their first pick in the roster round. Querrey, 27, is a Las Vegas resident who has competed in Mylan WTT in the past. Querrey has played for the U.S. in Davis Cup, and achieved his highest career singles ranking in 2011 when he reached No. 17. Leander Paes and Anastasia Rodionova return to the Kastles again this July. The team is coached by Murphy Jensen.
A 40th season celebration will take place following the draft with some of the legends of the league joining King in celebrating, including Chris Evert, Andy Roddick and Roy Emerson expected to attend.
Team-by-team look at each of the team’s roster, including their coach:
Boston Lobsters: Eugenie Bouchard, Irina Falconi, Scott Lipsky, Chase Buchanan, Arantxa Parra Santonja, coach Jan-Michael Gambill
California Dream: Bob and Mike Bryan, Jarmila Gajdosova, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Tennys Sandgren, Aisam Qureshi, coach Dave McPherson
Austin Aces: Andy Roddick, Nicole Gibbs, Alla Kudryavtseva, Jarmere Jenkins, Teymuraz Gabashvili, coach Rick Leach
Philadelphia Freedoms: Taylor Townsend (protected), Robby Ginepri, Marcelo Melo (protected), Liezel Huber, coach Josh Cohen
San Diego: Madison Keys, Taylor Fritz, Raven Klaasen (protected), Chani Scheepers, Kveta Peschke (protected), coach John Lloyd
Springfield Lasers: John Isner, Andre Begemann, Alison Riske, Anna-Lena Groenefeld (protected), Michael Russell (protected), coach John-Laffnie de Jager
Washington Kastles: Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Sam Querrey (exempt), Leander Paes (protected), Anastasia Rodionova (protected), coach Murphy Jensen
ROUND BY ROUND
Boston Lobsters: Eugenie Bouchard
California Dream: Bob & Mike Bryan (acquired via San Diego in pre-draft trade)
Austin Aces: Andy Roddick
Philadelphia Freedoms: no selection
San Diego Aviators: Madison Keys (designated)
Springfield Lasers: John Isner (acquired via Boston in pre-draft trade)
Washington Kastles: Martina Hingis (protection); Venus Williams (protection); Serena Williams (designation)
1st ROUND – ROSTER:
Boston Lobsters: Irina Falconi
California Dream: Jarmila Gajdosova
Austin Aces: Nicole Gibbs
Philadelphia Freedoms: Taylor Townsend (protection)
San Diego Aviators: Taylor Fritz
Springfield Lasers: Andre Begemann
Washington Kastles: Sam Querrey (exempt)
2nd ROUND – ROSTER:
Boston Lobsters: Scott Lipsky
California Dream: Anabel Medina Garrigues
Austin Aces: Alla Kudryavtseva
Philadelphia Freedoms: Robby Ginepri
San Diego Aviators: Raven Klaasen (protection)
Springfield Lasers: Ali Riske (exempt)
Washington Kastles: Leander Paes (protection)
3rd ROUND – ROSTER:
Boston Lobsters: Chase Buchanan
California Dream: Tennys Sandgren
Austin Aces: Jamere Jenkins
Philadelphia Freedoms: Marcelo Melo (protection)
San Diego Aviators: Chani Scheepers
Springfield Lasers: Anna-Lena Groenefeld (protection)
Washington Kastles: no selection
4th ROUND – ROSTER:
Boston Lobsters: Arantxa Parra Santonja
California Dream: Aisam Qureshi
Austin Aces: Teymuraz Gabashvili
Philadelphia Freedoms: Liezel Huber
San Diego Aviators: Kveta Peschke (protection)
Springfield Lasers: Michael Russell (protection)
Washington Kastles: Anastasia Rodionova (protection)