(those brawling Sportimes)
“It was probably one of the greatest World Team Tennis match ever played, maybe the greatest” gushed New York Sportimes owner Claude Okin of last night’s highly contentious contest between his club and the Washington Kastles. Much like the rest of the human race, DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg didn’t witness the fracas, but he’s found eyewitness testimony from someone who did.
So I wasn’t there, but here’s a rough summary of how things went down, according to the Kastles. During the men’s doubles, Kastles star Leander Paes tagged Robert Kendrick with a volley at the net. A furious John McEnroe crossed the net and got in Paes’s face (although there’s some dispute about this–the Sportimes owner said McEnroe was “an oasis of calm in the chaos”), while New York Coach Chuck Adams started yelling at Paes’s partner, Scott Oudsema. Kastles Coach Murphy Jensen also came out and started yelling. Fans got into it, too.
Everyone calmed down, and no penalties were issued, but Kendrick then served a ball into Paes, who was at the net and wasn’t receiving the serve.
“All hell breaks loose again,” someone with the Kastles told me.
So players on both benches got up and start yelling at each other and at the chair umpire; the Kastles allege that a member of the Sportimes cursed at Olga Puchkova, and her teammate Rennae Stubbs then lost it and was assessed a one-point penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Kastles went on to lose the match in a super tiebreaker.