King of Prussia, Pa. (July 13, 2009) – A sold-out Freedoms Stadium crowd welcomed 2009 Wimbledon Champion Serena Williams to Philadelphia with a raucous ovation as she took to the court to open play in women’s singles for the Kastles. Few would have predicted that Madison Keys, the Freedoms’ 14 year-old phenom would not only stand toe-to-toe with the 11-time Grand Slam Champion but defeat her handily 5-1. Serena’s slow start carried over into women’s doubles, where she teamed with 4-time Grand Slam doubles champion Rennae Stubbs for the Kastles. After falling behind 1-3 early, Serena and Stubbs stormed back to take the set 5-4 over the Freedoms’ Keys and Lisa Raymond. Keeping her momentum going, Serena then teamed with 4-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion Leander Paes to take down Nathan Healey and Raymond of the Freedoms 5-1 in mixed doubles.
The men took center stage in the second half with the Freedoms trailing 11-10 in the overall match score. Unfortunately for the hometown fans in King of Prussia, Paes teamed with Scott Oudsema for the Kastles to defeat the Freedoms tandem of Healey and Eric Nunez 5-3 in a very competitive set of men’s doubles. In the final event of the evening, Oudsema came onto the court trying to seal the match for the Kastles, who were leading 16-13 overall. Trying to save the match for the Freedoms, Nathan Healey won men’s singles 5-2 to send the match into a deciding supertiebreaker with the score 18-18. Though Healey jumped out to an early lead, Oudsema came storming back to take the breaker 7-4 and the match 19-18 for the Kastles.
The Freedoms are right back in action tomorrow night, July 14, when they host tennis legend and renowned commentator John McEnroe and the New York Sportimes. McEnroe will play in a special “Battle of the Broadcasters” at halftime, hosted by CBS-3’s Beasley Reece. The following Monday, July 20, Martina Navratilova and the Boston Lobsters visit Freedoms Stadium. The Freedoms home season concludes with a visit from former world no.1 player Kim Clijsters and the St. Louis Aces on Wednesday, July 22. Tickets can be purchased by calling 866-WTT-TIXS or visiting philadelphiafreedoms.com.