Posted on July 26, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Former University of Kentucky men’s tennis star Jesse Witten played in the World TeamTennis finals Sunday, winning his singles and doubles match in the New York Sportimes 21-18 loss to the Kansas City Explorers. The match was played at Explorers Stadium at Barney Allis Plaza in Kansas City, Mo.
In the finals, Witten started the action for the Sportimes, defeating Ricardo Mello 5-3 to give New York the early lead in the match. After Kansas City claimed the mixed doubles point to tie the match at 8-8, Witten and Robert Kendrick won the men’s doubles match against Samiel Groth and Mello 5-3 to give the Sportimes back the lead. New York would eventually fall in the women’s singles and women’s doubles match and fall in the finals.
Witten was a perfect 3-0 in the playoffs for the Sportimes as he posted a men’s doubles win in the 2010 WTT Eastern Conference Championship that helped propel New York to the WTT Finals.
The former UK great recently qualified for Wimbledon where he fell in the opening round of the event 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (7-5), 6-3 to Michael Llodra of France. Witten earned one of 16 qualifying positions for Wimbledon after winning three consecutive matches. He defeated Greg Jones (6-2, 7-6 [8-6]) and Bobby Reynolds (5-7, 6-3, 6-1) before claiming a best-of-five-sets final round victory against Go Soeda of Japan, 6-2, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 on June 17. Witten also qualified for the French Open in May, where he fell in the opening round to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
Witten grew into an iconic tennis figure at Kentucky during his college days (2002-05), becoming only the 11th four-time men's singles All-American in NCAA history. Witten was named the 2005 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and advanced to the championship match of the 2005 NCAA Singles Championship. As a newcomer in 2002, Witten was named SEC Freshman of the Year, helping the Wildcats to a 23-10 mark and eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
WTT Finals presented by GEICO and the City of Kansas City
Sunday, July 25, 2010 – Explorers Stadium at Barney Allis Plaza in Kansas City, Mo.
KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS def. New York Sportimes 21-18
Men's Singles - Jesse Witten (NY) def. Ricardo Mello (KC) 5-3
Mixed Doubles - Jarka Groth\Samuel Groth (KC) def. Robert Kendrick\Abigail Spears (NY) 5-3
Men's Doubles - Robert Kendrick\Jesse Witten (NY) def. Samuel Groth\Ricardo Mello (KC) 5-3
Women's Singles - Jarka Groth (KC) def. Abigail Spears (NY) 5-2
Women's Doubles - Jarka Groth\Kveta Peschke (KC) def. Ashley Harkleroad\Abigail Spears (NY) 5-3