When World TeamTennis (WTT) steps on the court for its 44th season it will be serving up a lot of change. With arguably its deepest lineup of tennis stars since its inception, the eight-team league starts the year with two new franchises, the Vegas Rollers and Orlando Storm, a new multi-year television agreement with CBS Sports and a new streaming agreement with ESPN+.
The 2019 WTT season will feature 17 matches on television across CBS and CBS Sports Network from July 14-Aug. 3, highlighted by WTT’s broadcast debut on the network on July 21 when the Philadelphia Freedoms take on the Vegas Rollers live on CBS at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.
An additional 16 matches will air throughout the season exclusively on CBS Sports Network, beginning on WTT’s opening night, July 14, when the San Diego Aviators play at the New York Empire, led by John Isner, the top-ranked American in the world at No. 12. A wrap-up show will air on CBS on August 10.
The WTT Playoffs at the Orleans Arena, home of the expansion Vegas Rollers, comprise the final three live telecasts as CBS Sports Network will air both league semifinals on Aug. 2 beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and conclude with the WTT Final on Aug. 3 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Online streaming service ESPN+ will exclusively live stream 18 matches during the 2019 WTT season, with an additional 24 streaming on both ESPN+ and WTT.com.
“We are proud of our new linear and digital partnerships which will provide tennis fans with even more access to World TeamTennis’ players and teams through their favorite devices and platforms,” said WTT CEO Carlos Silva. “With two new franchises in Las Vegas and Orlando, and new television and streaming partners showcasing the strongest field in WTT history, we anticipate a memorable season in the quest for the King Trophy.”
Earlier this year WTT announced major leadership changes, naming longtime media executive Carlos Silva as Chief Operating Officer and Orange County Breakers owner Eric Davidson as Chairman of the Board. Davidson currently shares the largest stake of ownership in the league with San Diego Aviators owner Fred Luddy, while league co-founder and tennis legend Billie Jean King also remains a minority owner of WTT.
This year’s WTT franchise field includes seven-time grand slam winner Venus Williams (Washington Kastles), 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens (NY Empire), Bob and Mike Bryan (Vegas Rollers), the most decorated doubles team in tennis history, U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys (Orlando Storm), former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka (OC Breakers), 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Monica Puig (Vegas Rollers), 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard (OC Breakers), 14-time ATP winner John Isner (NY Empire), 10-time ATP winner Sam Querrey (Vegas Rollers), highly-ranked American Frances Tiafoe (Washington Kastles), rising star Danielle Collins (Philadelphia Freedoms) and many other current ATP and WTA competitors.
The Washington Kastles will be featured in five regular season matches on CBS Sports Network, including a July 26 match at Philadelphia (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.) which features seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and 13-year WTT veteran Venus Williams playing the last of three matches with the Kastles in 2019.
“I always enjoy playing for the Kastles,” Williams said. “We have a really good team that I know will once again compete for the King Trophy.”
Other highlighted matches on CBS Sports Network include:
· Philadelphia at the expansion Orlando Storm from the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Fla. July 18 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Storm will be anchored by WTA No. 17 Madison Keys and ATP veteran Feliciano Lopez while Philadelphia will feature Taylor Townsend and Donald Young.
· The hotly contested Southern California rivalry renews Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT when the San Diego Aviators, led by American young gun Taylor Fritz, travel to Newport Beach, Calif. to play the 2017 WTT champion Orange County Breakers, who will showcase former World No. 1 and 2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.
The reigning WTT champion Springfield Lasers and San Diego Aviators will play four regular season matches each on CBS Sports Network. Philadelphia and Vegas are scheduled to play three regular season matches on the same network.
CBS Sports television schedule for the 2019 WTT season
(All times local to home team; All matches exclusively on CBS Sports Network, except July 21 match on CBS)
July 14: San Diego at New York, 5 p.m. ET
Featuring Franchise players Ryan Harrison (SD) and John Isner (NY)
July 15: Vegas at Washington, 7 p.m. ET
Featuring Franchise players Reilly Opelka (VEG) and Frances Tiafoe (WASH)
July 16: Orlando at Springfield, 6 p.m. CT
Featuring Franchise players Feliciano Lopez (ORL) and Miomir Kecmanovic (SPR)
July 18: Philadelphia at Orlando, 7 p.m. ET
Featuring Franchise players Donald Young (PHI), Madison Keys (ORL) and Feliciano Lopez (ORL)
July 19: Vegas at San Diego, 7 p.m. PT
Featuring Franchise players Sam Querrey (VEG) and Taylor Fritz (SD)
July 20: San Diego at Orange County, 4 p.m. PT
Featuring Franchise players Taylor Fritz (SD) and Victoria Azarenka (OC)
July 21: Philadelphia at Vegas, 1-3 p.m. PT (CBS)
Featuring Franchise players Danielle Collins (PHI), Bob/Mike Bryan (VEG), Monica Puig (VEG) and Sam Querrey (VEG)
July 22: Orlando at Washington, 7 p.m. ET
Featuring Franchise player Feliciano Lopez (ORL)
July 25: Orange County at Vegas, 7 p.m. PT
Featuring Franchise player Sam Querrey (VEG)
July 26: Washington at Philadelphia, 7 p.m. ET
Featuring Franchise player Venus Williams (WASH)
July 27: Springfield at Washington, 6 p.m. ET
Featuring Franchise player Nick Kyrgios (WASH)
July 28: Springfield at Philadelphia, 6 p.m. ET
July 29: Springfield at New York, 7 p.m. ET
Featuring Franchise player Mardy Fish (NY)
July 30: Washington at San Diego, 7 p.m. PT
Aug. 2: WTT Semifinals (Teams TBD) at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. PT
Aug. 3: WTT Final (Teams TBD) at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, 4 p.m. PT
WTT introduced professional team tennis to the world in 1974, with Billie Jean King famously serving as its co-founder. WTT is one of five active U.S. pro sports leagues which has been in operation for over 40 years, along with the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. For more information on World TeamTennis, please visit www.wtt.com.