Jessica Pegula, Steve Johnson, Taylor Townsend sign on for 2013 Mylan WTT season
NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 12, 2013) – Cancer survivor Alisa Kleybanova was selected by the Springfield Lasers with the first overall pick in today’s 2013 Mylan World TeamTennis Roster Draft at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif. The former world No. 20 will make her Mylan WTT debut on July 8, when Springfield hosts the Boston Lobsters.
Kleybanova was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in May 2011. She successfully returned to action in Miami last year, winning her first round match, but decided she was not healthy enough to return to the WTA Tour. The Russian has been training off the court and is looking forward to playing her first Mylan WTT season.
“It looks very exciting and tough,” said Kleybanova.”But I love challenges, so I’m ready to take the opportunity to participate in Mylan WTT this summer!”
In other first round draft highlights, fans will have the opportunity to see 2013 International Tennis Hall Of Fame inductee Martina Hingis team up with Venus Williams in Washington. The two-time defending Mylan WTT champion Kastles picked up the rights to Hingis in a pre-draft trade with the New York Sportimes. Williams was protected by the Kastles in February’s Mylan WTT Marquee Draft. In 1997, Hingis defeated Williams in an all-teenage final at the US Open.
A trio of future American stars will be featured on the multi-colored courts of Mylan WTT for the first time. Jessica Pegula and Steve Johnson were drafted fourth and fifth overall by the Philadelphia Freedoms and the Orange County Breakers, while Taylor Townsend was selected in the second round by last season’s runner-up Sacramento Capitals.
Other first round selections were the Texas Wild picking up Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, while Boston grabbed Jill Craybas. The New York Sportimes protected league veteran Robert Kendrick in the first round.
Prior to the start of the Roster Draft, two Americans were selected in the Roster Exempt Draft with Springfield picking up Vania King, while Coco Vandeweghe will play close to home for the Orange County Breakers.
The Mylan WTT regular season runs July 7-24, with conference championships scheduled for Thursday, July 25, and concludes with the Mylan WTT Finals presented by GEICO, on Sunday, July 28.
The season begins on Sunday, July 7 with six of the eight teams in action. The Washington Kastles put their 32-match win streak on the line on Monday, July 8, against the New York Sportimes at Kastles Stadium at the Wharf in Washington, D.C.
Roster Exempt Draft Selections
1. SPRINGFIELD: Vania King
2. ORANGE COUNTY: Coco Vandeweghe
Roster Draft Selections
1. SPRINGFIELD: Alisa Kleybanova
2. TEXAS: Eugenie Bouchard
3. BOSTON: Jill Craybas
4. PHILADELPHIA: Jessica Pegula
5. ORANGE COUNTY: Steve Johnson
6. NEW YORK: Robert Kendrick (P)
7. SACRAMENTO: Mark Knowles (P)
8. #WASHINGTON: Martina Hingis (P)
1. SPRINGFIELD: Jean-Julien Rojer
2. TEXAS: Aisam Qureshi (P)
3. BOSTON: Eric Butorac (P)
4. PHILADELPHIA: Liezel Huber
5. *TEXAS: Alex Bogomolov Jr.
6. NEW YORK: Jesse Witten (P)
7. SACRAMENTO: Taylor Townsend
8. WASHINGTON: Leander Paes (P)
1. SPRINGFIELD: Rik De Voest
2. *ORANGE COUNTY: Maria Elena Camerin
3. BOSTON: Amir Weintraub
4. PHILADELPHIA: Sam Groth
5. ^BOSTON: Paola Suarez
6. %NEW YORK: Anna-Lena Groenefeld (P)
7. SACRAMENTO: Megan Moulton-Levy
8. WASHINGTON: Bobby Reynolds (P)
1. SPRINGFIELD: Pass
2. TEXAS: Elena Bovina
3. ^ORANGE COUNTY: Treat Huey
4. PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Kerr
5. ORANGE COUNTY: Pass
6. NEW YORK: Kveta Peschke (P)
7. SACRAMENTO: Ryan Sweeting
8. WASHINGTON: Anastasia Rodionova (P)