Philadelphia Freedoms vs Chicago Smash: WorldTeamTennis Preview and Prediction
It is a battle between the top two teams tonight. Both Philadelphia Freedoms and Chicago Smash have secured their spots in the playoffs.
After losing their last match against the Orange County Breakers, Chicago would be keen to bounce back.
One of the key factors behind Chicago's stupendous run has been the fantastic form of their doubles combo. Bethanie Mattek-Sands/ Eugenie Bouchard are unbeaten in this tournament so far.
Though Philadelphia are on top of the table, they are yet to reap success in women's doubles.
Taylor Townsend has lost both of her previous matches partnering fellow compatriots, Caroline Dolehide and Sofia Kenin. Ahead of the knock-outs, the team needs to sort out this issue quickly.
Philadelphia will have an edge in the men's doubles as Fabrice Martin and Donald Young won their last match against the bottom-placed San Diego Aviators.
Chicago should field their combo of Rajeev Ram and Evan King and rest Brandon Nakashima.
With Bouchard on a two-match losing streak, Chicago must play Sloane Stephens. It will be a mouth-watering clash as Philadelphia's Sofia Kenin is in fantastic form.
Having had mixed fortunes in his previous two clashes, Nakashima would aim to bring his A-game tonight. He will have his task cut out against his countryman, Taylor Fritz. Fritz has played a crucial role in Philadelphia's success having devoted his skills equally to singles as well as doubles.
The mixed doubles clash would be interesting. While Ram is in good nick, he would have to cherry-pick between Bouchard and Stephens. With Stephens most likely to be preferred for the singles, choosing Bouchard would be wiser. It will be a great match as Philadelphia's Fabrice Martin and Townsend are in fantastic form.
Both teams have nothing to lose having confirmed their places in the playoffs. With the knock-outs just a few days away, players would look to get into the top of their game and work on their weaknesses.
Prediction - Chicago Smash to win
Featured image credits: livetennisonline.com