Empire Drops Opening Match In Bronx


John Isner and the New York Empire presented by Citi fell to the visiting San Diego Aviators, 23-11, on the opening night of World TeamTennis action from Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in The Bronx.

The Aviators got off to a quick start in the opening set of women’s doubles as San Diego’s duo of Christina McHale and Kaitlyn Christian dispatched the Empire’s Kirsten Flipkens and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, 5-0. The Empire were able to get on the board in the second set of women’s singles, but the Aviators extended their lead to 10-2 with McHale taking the 5-2 win over Flipkens.

After falling behind early in the third set of mixed doubles, top-ranked American Isner made his season debut for the Empire, substituting for Neal Skupski. The ace machine made an immediate impact, serving to win a game but the Empire were unable to overcome the early deficit as Isner and Martinez Sanchez fell 5-2 to Ryan Harrison and Christian. After three sets, the Aviators led 15-4.

The Empire picked up their play in the fourth set as Isner and Skupski combined to overpower the Aviator’s Harrison and Jonny O’Mara, taking the men’s doubles set 5-3 behind two Isner aces. In the final set of the night, the much-anticipated matchup between Isner and Harrison lived up to the expectations. Isner’s monster serve wowed the crowd in The Bronx, but Harrison proved to be too good on the night and took the set 5-2 and the match 23-11.

San Diego Aviators at New York Empire Box Score
San Diego Aviators5553523
New York Empire02252   11

Women’s Doubles:          Christina McHale/Kaitlyn Christian (SAN) def. Kirsten Flipkens/Martinez Sanchez (NYE), 5-0

Women’s Singles:           McHale (SAN) def. Flipkens (NYE), 5-2

Mixed Doubles:               Ryan Harrison/Kaitlyn Christian (SAN) def. Neal Skupski/John Isner/Martinez Sanchez (NYE), 5-2

Men’s Doubles:               Skupski/Isner (NYE) def. Jonny O’Mara/Harrison (SAN), 5-3

Men’s Singles:                  Harrison (SAN) def. Isner (NYE), 5-2

Next up, the Empire host the Vegas Rollers on Tuesday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m. before travelling to Springfield, Mo. to take on the Lasers the following night. The Empire close out the week with home matches on Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19. 2017 US Open Champion Sloane Stephens will compete in the July 18 match against the Breakers and seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams will compete as part of the visiting Washington Kastles on July 19.

New York Empire tickets can be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster or by calling the New York Empire office at 844-5-EMPIRE (844-536-7473). The 2018 WTT regular season will take place from July 15 – August 2 with the No. 1-seeded team hosting the championship match for the King Trophy on August 5.

For more information on World TeamTennis, visit www.WTT.com

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