Houston Wranglers protect Jan-Michael Gambill with first pick
WORLD TEAMTENNIS FINALIZES ROSTERS AT WTT PLAYER DRAFT
World TeamTennis franchises finalized their lineups today at the WTT Roster Player Draft in Miami, Fla., completing the player selection process that began last month when marquee player protections were announced. The Houston Wranglers protected their rights to American Jan-Michael Gambill with the opening pick in the WTT Player Draft.
Forty-four roster players representing 17 countries join previously announced marquee players including Venus Williams (Philadelphia Freedoms), Pete Sampras (Newport Beach Breakers), Anna Kournikova (Sacramento Capitals), John McEnroe (New York Sportimes) and Mike and Bob Bryan (Kansas City Explorers) to fill out the player list for the 2007 season.
The schedule for the WTT Pro League presented by Advanta includes 77 matches in 11 markets beginning July 5 and running through July 25. The top two teams in both the Eastern and Western Conferences will advance to the season-ending WTT Championship Weekend, set for July 27-29, in Roseville, Calif., home of the Sacramento Capitals.
The Player Draft was a mix of WTT veterans, tour champions and some new faces. There will certainly be a buzz around the Sacramento Capitals’ third round pick since at age 14, Michelle Larcher de Brito, will be the youngest player in WTT history. Tour stars Maria Sharapova and Nicole Vaidisova were both 15 years old when they first played World TeamTennis.
The 2006 WTT MVPs, Angela Haynes and Daniel Nestor, return in 2007. The Delaware Smash protected their rights to Haynes in the second round. Haynes joins doubles standout Liezel Huber, Chris Haggard and Lester Cook on the 2007 Smash team.
The Philadelphia Freedoms look strong with a nearly identical lineup to their 2006 WTT Championship team. The Freedoms protected Nestor, world doubles No. 1 Lisa Raymond and Frederic Niemeyer and added Olga Savchuk to their squad.
Rik de Voest, the 2005 WTT Rookie of the Year, returns to the League as the first round pick of the New York Buzz.
Other first round picks included Nicole Pratt (Boston Lobsters), Jarmila Gajdosova (Kansas City Explorers), Jasmin Woehr (St. Louis Aces), Tamarine Tanasugarn (Springfield Lasers), Ashley Harkleroad (New York Sportimes), Elena Likhovtseva (Sacramento Capitals), and Ramon Delgado (Newport Beach Breakers).
For details on the complete draft results and the 2007 schedule, visit www.WTT.com.
WTT ROSTER PLAYER DRAFT
1. HOUSTON WRANGLERS: Jan Michael-Gambill (protection)
2. NEW YORK BUZZ: Rik de Voest
3. BOSTON LOBSTERS: Nicole Pratt (protection)
4. KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Jarmila Gajdosova
5. ST. LOUIS ACES: Jasmin Woehr
6. DELAWARE SMASH: Liezel Huber (protection)
7. SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Tamarine Tanasugarn
8. NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Ashley Harkleroad (protection)
9. SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Elena Likhovtseva (protection)
10. NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Ramon Delgado (protection)
11. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Lisa Raymond (protection)
1. HOUSTON WRANGLERS: Mashona Washington
2. NEW YORK BUZZ: Ashley Fisher
3. BOSTON LOBSTERS: Amir Hadad (protection)
4. KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Corina Morariu (protection)
5. ST. LOUIS ACES: Aleke Tsoubanos (protection)
6. DELAWARE SMASH: Angela Haynes (protection)
7. SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Martin Verkerk
8. NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Jesse Witten
9. SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Mark Knowles (protection)
10. NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Rick Leach (protection)
11. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Daniel Nestor (protection)
1. HOUSTON WRANGLERS: Bryanne Stewart (protection)
2. NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Lauren Albanese# (moved up to 2nd pick in the 3rd round following a draft position trade with New York Buzz)
3. BOSTON LOBSTERS: Nikita Kryvonos
4. KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: David Macpherson (protection)
5. ST. LOUIS ACES: Jonathan Erlich (protection)
6. DELAWARE SMASH: Chris Haggard
7. SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Glenn Weiner
8. NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Hana Sromova
9. SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Michelle Larcher de Brito
10. NEW YORK BUZZ: Gabriela Navratilova # (traded draft positions with Newport Beach Breakers for financial considerations; selected G. Navratilova with the 10th pick in the 3rd round
11. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Frederic Niemeyer (protection)
1. HOUSTON WRANGLERS: Goran Dragicevic
2. NEW YORK BUZZ: Greta Arn
3. BOSTON LOBSTERS: Julie Ditty * (rights acquired via trade with New York Buzz)
4. KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Dusan Vemic
5. ST. LOUIS ACES: Andy Ram (protection)
6. DELAWARE SMASH: Lester Cook
7. SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Andreea Vanc
8. NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Mirko Pehar
9. SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Sam Warburg (protection)
10. NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Michaela Pastikova
11. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Olga Savchuk
* New York Buzz traded their rights to Julie Ditty to Boston for the Lobsters 4th round pick.
# New York Buzz traded their 3rd round selection position to Newport Beach for their 3rd round selection position and undisclosed financial considerations.
2007 WTT lineups
HOUSTON WRANGLERS: Jan-Michael Gambill, Mashona Washington, Bryanne Stewart, Goran Dragicevic. Coach: Thomas Blake
NEW YORK BUZZ: Rik de Voest, Ashley Fisher, Gabriela Navratilova, Greta Arn.
Coach: Jolene Watanabe
BOSTON LOBSTERS: Nicole Pratt, Amir Hadad, Nikita Kryvonos, Julie Ditty.
Coach: Anne Smith
KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Mike Bryan, Bob Bryan, Jarmila Gajdosova, Corina Morariu, David Macpherson, Dusan Vemic. Coach: TBD
ST. LOUIS ACES: Jasmin Woehr, Aleke Tsoubanos, Jonathan Erlich, Andy Ram. Coach: TBD
DELAWARE SMASH: Liezel Huber, Angela Haynes, Chris Haggard, Lester Cook.
Coach: Mariaan de Swardt
SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Tamarine Tanasugarn, Martin Verkerk, Glenn Weiner, Andreea Vanc. Coach: TBD
NEW YORK SPORTIMES: John McEnroe, Ashley Harkleroad, Jesse Witten, Hana Sromova, Mirko Pehar. Coach: Chuck Adams
SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Anna Kournikova, Elena Likhovtseva, Mark Knowles, Michelle Larcher de Brito, Sam Warburg. Coach: Wayne Bryan
NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Pete Sampras, Ramon Delgado, Rick Leach, Lauren Albanese, Michaela Pastikova. Coach: TBD
PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Venus Williams, Lisa Raymond, Daniel Nestor, Frederic Niemeyer, Olga Savchuk. Coach: Craig Kardon
Now in its 32nd year of play, World TeamTennis is well known for introducing innovative elements to tennis. Instant replay, which debuted at WTT matches in 2005 as the WTT Coaches Challenge, marked the first time the technology had been used in a professional tennis match, will return to select WTT matches in 2007. Other WTT firsts include co-ed format, cumulative and no-ad scoring, on-court coaching, Supertiebreakers, multi-colored courts and player names on back of their shirts.
The unique gender-balanced team concept for WTT was created in the early 70s by League co-founders Billie Jean King and Larry King. The format used for a WTT Pro League match features teams comprised of two men, two women and a coach. Each match consists of five sets, with one set each of men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
Advanta is the presenting sponsor of the WTT Pro League and the official business credit card of World TeamTennis. Official WTT Pro League sponsors also include Bälle de Mätch, Gatorade, Geico and Wilson Racquet Sports. For more information on WTT including team rosters, visit www.WTT.com.