The 2020 World TeamTennis regular season continues winding toward Thursday's finale at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.
The Philadelphia Freedoms and Chicago Smash had set the pace so far at 8-2, and they were both in action Sunday. Perhaps one could open up breathing room on the other in the race for the No. 1 seed.
The Washington Kastles and New York Empire faced off in what would be the biggest match of the day. The Empire and Kastles had identical 5-5 records, with the latter claiming the fourth and final playoff berth.
2020 World TeamTennis Results: July 26
Orlando Storm def. Springfield Lasers, 24-17
New York Empire def. Washington Kastles, 25-15
Chicago Smash def. Vegas Rollers, 22-18
Philadelphia Freedoms def. San Diego Aviators, 20-18
Chicago Smash 22, Vegas Rollers 18
The Chicago Smash temporarily moved into first place Sunday with a 22-18 victory over the Vegas Rollers. Chicago is now 9-2 on the season and one of just two teams (Philly being the other) to clinch a playoff berth.
Vegas actually got off to a strong start, with the Bryan brothers beating Rajeev Ram and Brandon Nakashima in men's doubles 5-4. But Chicago stole back the momentum quickly, as Nakashima defeated Sam Querrey 5-4 in men's singles, and the mixed doubles duo of Sloane Stephens and Ram beat Mike Bryan and Monica Puig 5-2.
Ajla Tomljanovic brought the Rollers back to within one game with a 5-3 win over Eugenie Bouchard, but Bouchard quickly had her revenge, pairing with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in women's doubles to beat Tomljanovic and Puig 5-2.
Ram was named the player of the match.
New York Empire 25, Washington Kastles 15
The Empire swept the Kastles aside, 25-15, to earn sole possession of fourth place for the time being.
Sabine Lisicki represented New York instead. The German held serve throughout the set, winning 74 percent of her first-service points. She also created five break-point opportunities, converting one to gain the daylight she needed to see through the set win.
Lisicki and Williams were again on opposing sides in women's doubles. The Empire picked up a 5-4 set to all but seal their victory.
World TeamTennis @WorldTeamTennis
#WTT2020: @sabinelisicki and Kveta Peschke take the fourth straight set for the Empire in a tiebreaker for women's doubles. NY leads 20-11 headed into the final set, men's singles. Watch the @NYEmpiretennis battle the @WashKastles LIVE on @CBSSportsNet! #NYvsWAS #EveryPointCounts https://t.co/gm77in9Zjz
Tommy Paul was unable to force extended play when he dropped the men's singles set to Jack Sock 4-5.
Orlando Storm 24, Springfield Lasers 17
Tennys Sandgren downed Mitchell Krueger in extended play to earn a victory for the Orlando Storm.
Krueger kept Springfield alive with a 5-3 set win in men's singles. Sandgren only needed one more game to wrap up the result, though. Krueger was unable to handle a powerful serve from Sandgren, his return bouncing harmlessly into the net.
That was a theme during their men's singles encounter, too, as Sandgren had six aces to zero for Krueger.
The Storm reeled off four straight sets to begin the match and take a commanding lead.
Sandgren teamed with Ken Skupski to beat Robert Lindstedt and Jean-Julien Rojer in men's doubles. Jessica Pegula needed 27 minutes to dispatch Catherine McNally before Sandgren, Pegula and Skupski combined to best Lindstedt and McNally in mixed doubles. Any hope of a comeback for Springfield largely ended when McNally and Hayley Carter fell, 5-4, to Pegula and Darija Jurak.
Philadelphia Freedoms 20, San Diego Aviators 18
The Aviators nearly snapped a four-match losing streak by taking down the WTT's top team.
Philadelphia put an end to that quickly.
In the mixed-doubles portion, San Diego's Ryan Harrison and CoCo Vandeweghe won 27 points, while the Freedoms' Fabrice Martin and Taylor Townsend won 18, putting San Diego ahead early. Vandeweghe continued to cruise in the women's doubles with Nicole Melichar, winning 5-3 against Townsend and Sofia Kenin to stretch the Aviators' lead to 10-6.
That grew to 15-10 after the men's double before it all fell apart for San Diego.
Kenin defeated Christina McHale 5-2 to pull Philadelphia within two points, setting up the biggest mismatch of the evening between Harrison and Taylor Fritz.
Fritz won 5-1, barely facing a challenge along the way as San Diego's losing streak extended for another match.