MATCH POINT

TEN­NIS SU­PER­STARS VENUS WIL­LIAMS AND ANDY RODDI MAKE A RACKET AT THIS YEAR’S MY­LAN WORLD TEAMTEN­NIS. BY MARNI PRICHARD MANKO

Philadelphia Style - - Contents -

Ten­nis su­per­stars Venus Wil­liams and Andy Rod­dick make a racket at this year’s My­lan World Teamten­nis.

Mark­ing a de­par­ture from its usual home at Vil­lanova Univer­sity’s Pav­il­ion, Bil­lie Jean King’s My­lan World Teamten­nis and the Philadel­phia Free­doms team has found a new home for the 2017 sea­son at Saint Joseph’s Univer­sity’s Ha­gan Arena. And this year’s line-up looks to be one of the best ever, with Amer­i­can su­per­star and 32-time ATP World Tour champ Andy Rod­dick head­ing up the ros­ter.

“It’s great to be back on the Free­doms’ team and play­ing for Bil­lie Jean,” says Rod­dick, who last took part in 2010.

The Philadel­phia Free­doms were founded in 1974, the year after King fa­mously beat Bobby Riggs in the Bat­tle of the Sexes match. Rod­dick’s joined by up-and-comer Sloane Stephens, Fabrice Martin, and re­turn­ing fan fa­vorite Tay­lor Townsend. But the fans are sure to be on their feet when leg­endary player Venus Wil­liams takes the court on July 24 as a vis­it­ing mar­quee player hit­ting for the Wash­ing­ton Kas­tles.

“The Philadel­phia Free­doms and My­lan World Teamten­nis are pro com­pe­ti­tions un­like any other,” says Free­doms Gen­eral Man­ager Bar­bara Perry. “Bil­lie Jean King co­founded My­lan WTT with the idea that sports can be a plat­form for so­cial change. So WTT is about equal­ity—men and women play­ing to­gether on the same team.” 5600 City Ave., 800298-4200; philadel­phia free­doms.com

Net gains: Ten­nis leg­end Venus Wil­liams comes out swing­ing at World Teamten­nis. The mixed- gen­der pro tour­na­ment moves to a new home at Saint Joseph’s Univer­sity this year.

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