New York Empire vs Philadelphia Freedoms: WorldTeamTennis Preview and Prediction
After three weeks of top-notch action, a scintillating semifinal is all set to take place tonight. Having scraped through to the knock-outs with seven wins and an equal number of losses, the New York Empire is calling the right shots when it matters.
On the other hand, Philadelphia Freedoms have no worries of inconsistency sitting at the top of the table with an astounding record of twelve wins and just two defeats.
The two teams clashed just two days ago with Philadelphia winning the match 23-17.
Having won their previous two matches, the all-American pair of Coco Vandeweghe and Nicole Melichar have combined well to give the Empire a strong start. Philadelphia needs to sort out their doubles conundrum quickly as Sofia Kenin has had mixed fortunes while partnering Taylor Townsend and Caroline Dolehide.
Having rested in-form Jack Sock in the last match, New York fielded youngster Ulises Blanch instead. There will be no room for experimentation as Sock and Neal Skupski are a match-winning pair. Philadelphia also possesses a strong combo in Fabrice Martin and Taylor Fritz who have clinched their last two matches.
Kim Clijsters has been the star player for the Empire with her unbeaten run in singles so far. Though she has been rested for the last two games due to injury concerns, she will be raring to continue her golden form today. New York did taste success when Coco Vandeweghe stunned grand slam champion, Kenin two days back.
A clash between Clijsters and Kenin would be exciting for the fans.
Armed with a big serve, Fritz has been in great touch for Philadelphia. Sock would be aiming to keep himself fresh ahead of the encounter.
The result of the mixed doubles clash might decide the winner. Martin and Townsend will look to continue their good form having been on the right side in two of their last three matches.
New York will have to replace out-of-form Skupski/ Nicole Melichar and play the attacking pair of Sock and Vandeweghe instead.
Having been table-toppers for the last three seasons, Philadelphia will look to go one better to claim the title.
With a season filled with experimentation, unpredictability and constant rejigging of the side, New York has nothing to lose. "I feel once we get into that semifinal match it's going to be just game on because all players understand it's the big money. It's the big pressure, and it's the big time", said their coach Luke Jensen. The players would aim to thrive in the entertaining atmosphere.
Prediction - New York Empire to win
Featured image credits: espn.com