What's different about World TeamTennis?
In one word, it's fun. More fun for the participants, more fun for the fans.
A WTT event is like one big party. The winners hug and celebrate when a match ends.
Players from both teams then sit at tables on the court and sign autographs while jiving back and forth with the long line of fans.
It's worlds away from the Family Circle Cup, although both events are played at the same site. The key word at the WTT Finals is smiles, not the fierce competition-only of a big league tournament such as the Family Circle Cup. Not that there isn't competitiveness in the July heat versus the April breezes on Daniel Island; there is. Just in a different form. WTT even has a halftime where they do crazy things such as hold a dance contest on the five-colors plywood.
Casual visitors might feel like they are at one of the piers for a Friday night dance mixer.
And then the tennis wars, or in this case fun, continues. The action is notoriously fast, so fast at times that the coaches challenge calls and almost instantly the replay pops up on the big scoreboard atop the stadium.
Some fun things
--If you're attending today's WTT final and happen to catch one of doubles star Leander Paes' amazing smashes, keep the ball as a souvenir.
--If you're in the market for a condo on James Island, singles ace Bobby Reynolds of the Kastles offered, "If anyone wants to buy, I'm looking to sell." Reynolds still owns the condo where he resided for the four years his wife, Josie, attended MUSC's dental school, graduating last year and now practicing in Marietta, Ga. He and Josie were married at the I'On Club. "She's a better athlete than me," Reynolds said about his wife who was an All-SEC track star while both attended Vanderbilt.
Looking at today's 5 p.m. WTT final, the Kastles haven't lost all season, and they shouldn't lose to St. Louis, which outlasted Sacramento, 20-19, Saturday. The Kastles should be stronger in everything but women's singles where 42nd-ranked Tamira Paszek played her first WTT match Saturday. Paszek's strong backhand and groundstrokes should be too much for Rodionova.
But Paszek's inexperience in doubles could be costly against Rennae Stubbs and Rodionova today as it was against Sacramento when Stubbs suffered her first women's doubles loss of the season. Paes/Stubbs, Paes/Reynolds and Stubbs/Rodionova give the Kastles an edge in doubles. Reynolds' match toughness should pull him through against St. Louis' Roman Borvanov in men's singles.