Sunday’s World TeamTennis finale at West Virginia’s Greenbrier Resort developed into the most exciting match of the COVID-19 era as the competition of nine teams came down to a single decisive stroke by Coco Vandeweghe in an epic super tiebreaker that edged the Chicago Smash 21-20 and earned the New York Empire the coveted King Trophy and $500,000 in prize money.
#WTT2020: On the deciding point in the Supertiebreaker, @CoCoVandey smacks a forehand return winner down the middle to seal the #WTTChampionship and #KingTrophy for the @nyempiretennis, 21-20, over the @ChicagoSmashWTT! #NYvsCHI #EveryPointCounts pic.twitter.com/2dkoz1UWfz
— World TeamTennis (@WorldTeamTennis) August 2, 2020
In 66th match of the 45th WTT season, the culmination of three weeks of nearly every day competition, Coco Vandeweghe and Nichole Melichar, acquired in a trade from the San Diego Aviators, saved a championship point and then won by one-point margin against Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sloane Stephens as Vandeweghe ripped Stephens’ serve with a precise forehand down-the line in the first-to-seven super tiebreaker.
🏆what a day !!🏆 so proud of the fight today from Team Awesome!! @nyempiretennis🗽💪 #EveryPointCounts @WorldTeamTennis @JackSock @nealskupski @nicole_melichar @CoCoVandey @BillieJeanKing pic.twitter.com/Sa0EzL7BTC
— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) August 2, 2020
Vandeweghe, who was named the WTT Championship Female MVP, stated after the match:
I’ve never been under that kind of pressure, ever. It was so much fun to be on my racquet to control the situation. Luckily, I controlled it in the right way. It really accentuated what World TeamTennis is — the team vibe, team energy, people picking each other up when they’re down. I had so much fun out there.
The teamed event was one of the first in the United States to welcome fans in amidst the coronavirus pandemic and was able to do so after strict protocols for players and commitment to safety from everyone involved.
Founded in 1974 with Billie Jean King as a co-founder, WTT is one of five active professional sports leagues in the United States which has been in operation for more than 40 years. It joins the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB with that distinction.