NEW YORK, NY, March 16, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Veteran New York Sportimes players Robert Kendrick, Jesse Witten and Ashley Harkleroad, three of the standouts who helped the squad reach the World TeamTennis finals in 2010, will return in 2012 after being selected by the team in the WTT Roster Draft today. Kendrick and Harkleroad are both returning after a one year hiatus. The Sportimes also announced the return of Chuck Adams for his fifth season as Sportimes coach. Adams, who coached New York to the Eastern Conference championship two years ago, also took 2011 off from WTT coaching action.
Kendrick, a popular American veteran player, will be competing for the Sportimes for the fifth year since 2002. He was a member of the Sportimes' WTT championship team in 2005 and was protected by New York in the first round of the draft. Kendrick, 32, has been ranked as high as No. 69 on the ATP World Tour. He was drafted but did not compete for the Sportimes in 2011, due to an 8-month ITF suspension stemming from Kendrick's use of a banned dietary supplement. Kendrick, who is a new father, began his comeback to the ATP Tour in February 2012.
Witten, playing his sixth consecutive year with the Sportimes, was the team's second-round protected selection. Witten, 29, a five-time All American at the University of Kentucky, is in his seventh year on the pro Tour and has been ranked as high as No. 163 in singles, reaching the 3rd round of the US Open in 2009. Witten, WTT Rookie of the Year in 2007, was the third ranked male singles player in WTT last year with 47 singles games won.
Harkleroad will play her fourth year on the Sportimes roster, having competed for the Sportimes in 2006, 2007 and 2010. The Sportimes protected Harkleroad in the third round of the draft using a married couple's protection, as her husband, Chuck Adams, will coach the team. Harkleroad, 26, has been ranked as high as No. 39 in the world in women's singles, having won eight ITF Women's Circuit singles titles and five ITF doubles crowns and having reached the third round of both the French and Australian Opens. Harkelroad made headlines in 2008 when she became the first professional women's tennis player to pose for Playboy magazine. In 2011, Ashley gave birth to her second child with husband, and NY Sportimes coach, Chuck Adams.
Chuck Adams, 40, played on the ATP Tour for 10 years and achieved a career-high singles ranking of #33 in the world in 1994. Adams is an ATP title winner and a three-time ATP finalist. He has been a traveling coach for top WTA and ATP tour players.
Kendrick, Witten and Harkleroad will join Sportimes Marquee player Martina Hingis, and Sportimes Captain John McEnroe on the 2012 squad. Hingis is scheduled to compete throughout the 14-match schedule, while McEnroe is currently slated to compete in the matches at Randall's Island on July 19 and July 25. An additional Marquee player is expected to be announced for the night of July 25th, which, for the second straight year, will be an evening to benefit the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a charitable foundation that raises money to support youth tennis in the New York City area.
The Sportimes also announced that season tickets, which guarantee a seat for all five home matches at Sportime Randall's Island (July 10, 13, 18, 19, 25), are available now. For more details, fans can visit http://www.nysportimes.com/teams/page.aspx?article_id=3055. The Sportimes will also host two matches at SEFCU Arena at the University of Albany (July 23, 24), featuring visiting Marquee players John Isner and Venus Williams, with ticket information for those matches available at http://www.nysportimes.com/albany.
"We are excited to welcome back a group of great players, and a great coach, that have really become an extended family over the last decade, and very familiar to Sportimes' fans," said Sportime Clubs and NY Sportimes CEO Claude Okin. "Their return, along with the return of our anchor, all-time-great Martina Hingis, and our Captain and inspiration, John McEnroe, put us in great position to make another run at the WTT title. The competition should be fierce."
Promotional events for each home date will be announced. Player appearances are subject to change. The 2012 WTT regular season runs from July 9-28, with the top two teams from both the Western and Eastern Conference advancing to the WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO, September 14-16, at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.
Tickets for Sportimes matches are available by calling 888-WTT-NYC1 or by visiting http://www.nysportimes.com. For more information on matches in Albany, visit http://www.NYSportimes.com/Albany or call 518-393-0440.
2012 Sportimes' partners include USTA Eastern Section, GEICO, USTA, Wilson, DecoTurf, Principal Funds, SPORTIME Clubs, Tennis.com, Arizon Tennis Domes, NY Orthopedics, and Randall's Island Sports Foundation.
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