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Breakers have high hopes

World Team Tennis

Tennis team, playing with Davenport in new venue, nearly comes back before losing to defending champion Washington.

July 09, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Don Leach | Daily…)

IRVINE — Lindsay Davenport got to Southern California less than five hours before Monday's Orange County Breakers season opener.

The Breakers' marquee player was playing at Wimbledon the day before. She won the ladies' invitational doubles title with her former rival, another former world No. 1 in Martina Hingis.

Even marquee players can miss their flights.

"We finished probably at 4:30 [p.m.] London time [Sunday]," Davenport said. "My flight was at 4:30, so my family left without me. I obviously didn't make the flight. I spent the night in an airport hotel in Heathrow and flew out the next morning."

Davenport, a Laguna Beach resident, arrived at LAX shortly before 3 p.m. Monday. She said she had time for a quick trip home before the match began. She was thrown into her 10th World Team Tennis season right away, as mixed doubles and women's doubles were the first two sets of the night.

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The OC Breakers, formerly the Newport Beach Breakers, played their first indoor home match in their 10-year history. They battled the defending WTT champion Washington Kastles to the end before falling, 22-18, before 952 fans at their new home, UC Irvine's Bren Events Center.

Davenport said it probably will take her a couple of matches to get up to the speed of World Team Tennis. She has time. She is playing every home match and three away matches for the Breakers.

The home squad looked strong. It came down to the final set, when the Breakers were just a point away from sending the match into overtime. But Washington's Bobby Reynolds outlasted the Breakers' John-Patrick Smith, 5-4, in men's singles. The tiebreaker score was also 5-4, as Reynolds clinched the match on a service ace out wide. He won the last three points to help the Kastles win their 17th straight match.

Last year, the Kastles had a perfect 16-0 record.

"There are not very many weak spots in their lineup," Breakers Coach Trevor Kronemann said. "All five spots are tough … They're a good team, and I think we've got a good team. We're not that far off. The final score is four games. We lost 5-1 in the first set, and I think that's really what it came down to.

"We have some youth mixed with some wise veterans. I think we're going to be good. Playing inside here, I think the matches are going to be much closer."

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