In what turned out to be an incredible inaugural season for the San Diego Aviators in the Mylan World TeamTennis(WTT), ended with a loss in the Western Conference Championship on Thursday evening at the Valley View Casino Center.
The Springfield Lasers(Springfield, Missouri) defeated the Aviators 22-17 and advanced to the championship match this Sunday against the 3-time defending champions, Washington Kastles from the Eastern Division. Had the Aviators won they would have hosted the Kastles for the title.
“I give a lot of credit to Springfield. They won the Western Conference Championships last season and they played at their maximum tonight. I think as a team, we have had an amazing first season and given San Diego some great tennis. Our team has great chemistry, which is so important. That definitely makes us want to come back next year and take the season even further,” said Aviators coach Dave Macpherson after the match.
The Aviators held a slim lead of 14-12 after the first three matches of men’s singles, women’s and mixed doubles.
However, Olga Govortsova gave the Lasers a major boost in women’s singles with a 5-0 win over Daniel Hantuchova and a 17-14 team lead.
With the pressure to win the championship on their shoulders, the world’s number one ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan were unable to secure a victory for the Aviators and lost to the Laser team of Mike Russell and Ross Hutchins by a score of 5-3.
The Aviators impressive season did not end without some key individual Mylan WTT awards. Prior to the match, Daniela Hantuchova was named the 2014 Player of the Year, Somdev Devvarman received the Rookie of the Year and coach Dave Macpherson was honored as the Coach of the Year.
Hantuchova has been ranked as high as No. 5 in the world in both singles and doubles in addition to winning a career grand slam in mixed doubles at the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open tournaments. Devvarman is currently ranked in the Top 150 in the world and won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2007 and 2008 while at the University of Virginia. Macpherson currently coaches the Bryan Brothers and as a former tour play won 16 ATP World Tour doubles titles and reached a career-high doubles ranking of No. 11 in the world.