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Wozniacki, Isner headline WTT draft picks

INDIAN WELLS, CA - MARCH 15: John Isner serves to Adrian Maninarino of France during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 15, 2016 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
March 28, 2016 09:10 AM

By Ashley Marshall, USTA.com

Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and top-ranked American John Isner were among the top names selected at the Mylan World TeamTennis Draft as teams looked to assemble a lineup to topple the five-time defending champion Washington Kastles.

The Kastles have been the dominant force in World TeamTennis this decade, and they are returning the core of their 2015 championship team in search of a record seventh overall title.

After protecting the rights to marquee player Martina Hingis, the defending champions also brought back Sam Querrey, Leander Paes, Madison Brengle and 2015 Mylan WTT Female co-MVP Anastasia Rodionova. The team then bolstered its lineup even further with the addition of Bob and Mike Bryan as well as Mardy Fish, making it the likely favorites when play begins on July 31.

But a new season brings new hopes for the chasing pack, and a plethora of fresh faces will join some familiar names as teams look to lift the King Trophy, named after co-founder Billie Jean King.

Isner (pictured above) returns to the Springfield Lasers for his sixth WTT season, where he’ll be joined by Canadian doubles specialist Daniel Nestor and debutants Benjamin Becker of Germany and Daria Gavrilova of Australia.

Wozniacki, meanwhile, was selected by the Philadelphia Freedoms and will anchor a lineup that features Slovakian Lukas Lacko, Russian teen Daria Kasatkina and American fan favorite Donald Young.

Also hoping to dethrone the champs this year is expansion team New York Empire. Led by former US Open champion Andy Roddick, the Empire roster includes American Christina McHale, Argentinian Guido Pella and doubles specialists Maria Irigoyen and Oliver Marach.

The 2016 regular season runs July 31-Aug. 13, with the top two teams advancing to the Mylan WTT finals on Friday, Aug. 26 at Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club in New York.

In 2015, Mylan WTT became only the fifth major professional team sports league in the United States to reach the 40th season mark, joining an elite list that includes the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.

Rosters: 

Washington Kastles: Martina Hingis, Bob and Mike Bryan, Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey, Leander Paes, Madison Brengle, Anastasia Rodionova. Coach: Murphy Jensen.

Philadelphia Freedoms: Caroline Wozniacki, Lukas Lacko, Daria Kasatkina, Fabrice Martin, Naomi Broady, Donald Young. Coach: Josh Cohen.

New York Empire: Andy Roddick, Christina McHale, Guido Pella, Maria Irigoyen, Oliver Marach. Coach: Patrick McEnroe.

San Diego Aviators: James Blake, Shelby Rogers, Raven Klaasen, Daniel Evans, Darija Jurak. Coach: John Lloyd.

Springfield Lasers: John Isner, Daniel Nestor, Benjamin Becker, Daria Gavrilova, Michaella Krajicek. Coach: John-Laffnie de Jager.

Orange County Breakers:  Nicole Gibbs, Alla Kudryavtseva, Scott Lipsky, Dennis Novikov. Coach: Rick Leach.

 

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