LAS VEGAS (AP) — The defending champion Springfield Lasers advanced to the World TeamTennis final, beating the San Diego Aviators 21-19 on Friday night at Orleans Arena.
In the second semifinal, the New York Empire beat regular-season champion Philadelphia 24-18. The title match is Saturday night.
Down 3-4, and with the score tied 19-19, Springfield’s Olga Govortsova fended off a match point to San Diego’s Arina Rodionova to hold serve, and went on to win the nine-point tiebreaker, 5-3.
“I was, like, ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!'” Govortsova said.
Leading 7-2 in the second set, New York lost Franchise player Mardy Fish when the U.S. Davis Cup captain “snapped his (right) hamstring,” according to Empire coach Luke Jensen. Ulises Blanch substituted for Fish and beat Philadelphia’s Mitchell Krueger, 5-4.
“Worst to first,” Jensen said. “Now we’re in a position to do something very special against the defending champs. I’ve been telling this team we’re going to lead the league in fun and we’re going to be powered by awesome.”
This story has been corrected to show that New York team’s nickname is the Empire, not the Express.