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PRESS RELEASE: Venus Joins Serena On WTT Champion Washington Kastles

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Press Release

CONTACT: Jack Deschauer
(202) 683-3134 (office)
(703) 298-5348 (cell)


World #1 Ranked Serena Williams and World #5 Ranked Venus Williams Join Forces to Defend Washington Kastles’ 2009 World TeamTennis Championship; Kastles Roster Now Holds a Total of 61 Grand Slam Championships

WASHINGTON – February 11, 2010 – The Washington Kastles, the 2009 World TeamTennis Champions, are proud to announce that for the third consecutive season, world #1 ranked Serena Williams will lead the Kastles after protecting her rights and selecting her earlier today in the league’s Marquee Player Draft. In a move to bolster their 2010 title hopes, the Kastles, in a trade with the Philadelphia Freedoms, added Venus Williams to the squad. Serena will play four matches for the Kastles and Venus will play three.

Serena has played in front of sell-out crowds in her two prior trips to Kastles Stadium for the 2008 and 2009 WTT seasons. This summer, she will make one home appearance at Kastles Stadium, as will Venus for a different match.

Serena is the defending Wimbledon singles and women’s doubles champion and two-time defending Australian Open singles champion. Coming off her 2010 Australian Open championships in singles and women’s doubles, Williams now has 25 career Grand Slam titles, 12 in singles, 11 in women’s doubles and two in mixed doubles. Williams’ 12 Grand Slam singles titles tie her with American legend Billie Jean King for sixth all-time. She holds more Grand Slam titles than any other active female player and has won more prize money than any woman in the history of professional sports.

Venus has won 20 career Grand Slam titles, including five Wimbledon singles titles. She is the reigning Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open women’s doubles champion and holds a total of seven Grand Slam titles in singles, 11 in women's doubles and two in mixed doubles. She also has won three Olympic gold medals, one in singles and two in women's doubles.

With the addition of Venus, the Kastles roster now has a total of 61 Grand Slam titles including 19 women’s singles, 26 women’s doubles, six men’s doubles and 10 mixed doubles championships.

"I'm looking forward to returning to Washington, DC this summer and helping my Kastles teammates defend our WTT Championship title,” said Serena about her return to the nation’s capital. “There's something special about playing in the middle of downtown DC in that setting with the great support of our fans."

During the July 5 - 25 season, the Williams sisters and the Kastles will welcome opponents John McEnroe, who returns with their Eastern Conference rivals, the New York Sportimes, in a rematch of last season’s now infamous and hotly contested battle, and Anna Kournikova and the St. Louis Aces. Martina Hingis, making her return to professional tennis, will likely come to DC when another Eastern Conference foe, the New York Buzz, takes on the Kastles.

“The historic opportunity to have both Serena and Venus on our team is a thrill, both for the success of our team and for our fans, whose support has been so integral to our success,” said team owner Mark Ein. “They are the epitome of what is great about the sport of tennis and will lead an unprecedented collection of talent for us on the court in 2010.”

“It takes world-class talent to win championships and there are no more accomplished athletes than Serena and Venus,” said Kastles head coach Murphy Jensen, who guided the squad to the 2009 title in his first season coaching in the WTT Pro League. “Last summer was truly a dream season for us, and come July 5, the dream continues in D.C.”

The rest of the 2010 Kastles roster will be determined during the March 16 WTT Pro League Roster Draft.

“The hardest thing about winning our first title will be defending it, because everyone will be gunning for us,” continued Ein. “We want to keep the King Trophy right here in D.C. and in order to accomplish that, we’re going to put the most talented team possible on the court every single match, home and away.”

The Kastles are entering their third WTT season. In 2009, the Kastles earned the franchise’s first playoff berth before defeating their heated rivals, the Sportimes, at home in the Eastern Conference Finals. In an epic final, before a capacity Kastles Stadium crowd, the Kastles rallied from down three championship points to triumph over the Springfield Lasers 23-20 to win their first King Trophy.

Great season ticket packages can be purchased by visiting www.washingtonkastles.com or by calling 202-4TENNIS. You can also follow the Kastles on Facebook at facebook.com/washkastles and on Twitter at twitter.com/WashKastles.

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Posted by Shelia

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