Sharapova arrives soon

Three-time Grand Slam singles champ joins Breakers. Other stars, Chang, Agassi and McEnroe, to play in Newport Beach this summer.

June 30, 2009|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

Save the date if you want to see Maria Sharapova in action.

The Russian beauty is going to make a lot of racquet on July 22 at Newport Beach Country Club.

Sharapova’s only scheduled appearance for the Newport Beach Breakers comes in their regular-season finale. The Breakers play host to the Kansas City Explorers that day.

By then, Newport Beach is hoping to rediscover the World Team Tennis postseason. Having a three-time Grand Slam singles champion around as its marquee player might put the Breakers over the top.


The Breakers need all the help they can get.

For the past two years, Newport Beach has failed to reach the playoffs. Last year’s 5-9 record was disappointing.

Coach Trevor Kronemann hasn’t experienced much losing in the WTT. That’s until he began coaching the Breakers in 2007.

Under Kronemann, the Breakers are 8-20 overall. Breaking even on the court has been a problem.

Kronemann leads Newport Beach to a fresh start this season. Returning is 2008 Male MVP Ramon Delgado and Newport Beach native Kaes Van’t Hof. There are also two new faces, Julie Ditty and Marie-Eve Pelletier.

Starting at home is a good place for the Breakers. The opener is Thursday against the Washington Kastles at 7:05 p.m.

The Kastles are also playing host to the WTT Championship finals on July 26. The Breakers are far from booking their hotel rooms back east.

Sharapova is a great addition, even if it’s for one regular-season match. She was a part of the last Newport Beach team to claim the title in 2004.

Without Sharapova, the Breakers returned to the finals the next two seasons, only to finish runner-up each time.

Second place is a lot better than the finishes the previous two years.

One of those seasons, Sharapova was involved with the Breakers. In 2007, the No. 2-ranked female player in the world at the time, played in the regular-season finale.

In front of a sold-out crowd of 2,358 at Breakers Stadium, the Breakers lost to the New York Sportimes, 24-14. Newport Beach ended the season at 3-11.

Back then, Kronemann said it was his first losing season in 18 years of WTT experience. He has continued to say there’s no better venue to play WTT than Newport Beach.

Fans continue to support the Breakers during their struggles. Last year, more than 12,500 people turned out for seven home matches.

Expect more big names this season. Michael Chang, Andre Agassi and John McEnroe travel to Newport Beach to battle the Breakers.

Chang is in town July 11 with the Sacramento Capitals. Chang, a Hall of Famer, makes his debut with Agassi’s former team.

Agassi, an eight-time Grand Slam singles champ, returns to WTT after leaving a three-year stint with the Sacramento Capitals in 2004.

Agassi comes to Newport Beach on July 17. He is playing for the Philadelphia Freedoms.

McEnroe, winner of seven Grand Slam singles titles, is with New York Sportimes. He goes up against the Breakers twice this season.

The final time in Newport Beach on July 21, a day before Sharapova shows up.

Newport Beach will have “Superbrat” one day and the next day a supermodel.

Mark your calendars.

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