CHARLESTON, S.C. (July 23, 2011) — The St. Louis Aces are headed to the World Team Tennis Finals for the first time in 15 years after narrowly defeating the Sacramento Capitals 20-19 to win the WTT Western Conference title on Saturday evening at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C. The Aces advance to Sunday’s WTT Finals presented by GEICO to face the Eastern Conference Champion Washington Kastles for the King Trophy at 5 p.m. ET.
The last time Sacramento and St. Louis played each other on July 13, it took a Supertiebreaker to decide the match. Once again, these Western Conference rivals kept it close throughout Saturday’s Western Conference Championship match, splitting the first two sets of singles.
Dusan Vemic gave Sacramento an early lead with a 5-3 singles victory over St. Louis’ Roman Borvanov. St. Louis took over the lead when Tamira Paszek ran past Vania King of Sacramento in women’s singles 5-1.
The Capitals men’s doubles team was only ranked No. 8 during the regular season but they turned up the heat as Mark Knowles and Vemic beat the Aces’ Borvanov and 2011 Male Rookie of the Year Jean-Julien Rojer, 5-3, to even the score at 11-11 at half.
King and Yasmin Schnack upset 2011 WTT Female MVP Liezel Huber and Paszek in women’s doubles in a tight 5-4 set, giving the Capitals a one point lead, 16-15, heading into the final set of mixed doubles.
Huber and Rojer got the only service break of the final set and wrapped up a 5-3 victory over Knowles and King when King’s shot sailed wide on match point.
“Every point, every game counts (in WTT),” said Huber. “I wanted to win so bad for my team and St. Louis tonight.” Huber said not to count out the Aces in the Finals against the Kastles, who have yet to lose a match this season. “They are a great team but we start from scratch tomorrow,” she said. “We have nothing to lose.”
The Aces will face the undefeated Washington Kastles in the WTT Finals on Sunday, July 24 at 5 p.m. ET. With a victory, the Kastles would become the first team in WTT history to complete a perfect season. The Aces are vying for their first WTT title since they won their only Championship in 1996. The Finals will be televised live on Tennis Channel and live streamed on http://video.wtt.com.