Posted: Friday, 26 July 2013 12:30AM

Lasers crush Wild, head to WTT Finals

Springfield, Mo. (  -- As coach Jean-Laffnie de Jager said in a post-match speech to the crowd, World Team Tennis Female Rookie of the Year Alisa Kleybanova and Male MVP Jean-Julien Rojer “showed why they won their prizes.”

The two were nothing short of brilliant Thursday night, as they led Springfield to a stomping of the Texas Wild in the Western Conference Championship at Cooper Tennis Complex.


Springfield won all five sets and put a finishing touch on the night with dominating victories in men’s doubles, women’s singles and women’s doubles. The 25-9 victory sends Springfield to the Mylan WTT Finals, were the Lasers face the Washington Kastles on Sunday, July 28 in Washington, D.C.

“It’s amazing for me,” Kleybanvoa said. “The whole Mylan World Team Tennis, it’s been great. It’s been an amazing two and a half weeks with my first time playing. Every single match was just better and better for us. I’m so happy for me and the team. I’m very proud of us. It’s a great honor to get Rookie of the Year.”

Andy Roddick, who played a handful of WTT dates in the regular season including two in Springfield, is scheduled to return for the Lasers in the Finals contest.


Rojer seemingly made all the right decisions with his play around the net. Kleybanova’s power game overwhelmed the Wild.

Springfield led 10-6 after Rik De Voest topped Alex Bogomolov Jr. 5-3 in singles and Rojer/ Kleybanova won 5-3 in mixed doubles.

It was all Lasers from there. De Voest/Rojer beat Bogomolov Jr./Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 5-1 in men’s doubles, Kleybanova won 5-1 in women’s singles, and Kleybanova/Vania King cruised to a victory in women’s doubles by the same score.

Rojer said the team, which played Wednesday night at Orange County, didn’t arrive back to Springfield until 2 p.m. Thursday.

If fatigue was a factor, the Lasers didn’t show any symptoms.

“It wasn’t easy, but we talked about it before coming out – having good energy and supporting each other. I think we did that,” Rojer said. “I just tried to do my part and win as many games as I could.”

Springfield is the league finals for the first time since 2009, and fourth time overall.

King was on the Lasers in 2009, when she was named Female MVP, and hasn’t forgotten how close the Lasers came to winning that year.

“It would mean the world to me because last time, I was literally one point away from us (winning). I kind of screwed it up,” King said, grinning. “No matter what, I’ve had a great run with this team and I’m really happy I got to know them. I’m good friends with all of them now and I look forward to Sunday’s match and playing together with them in the future.”

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Mizzou 38, South Dakota State 18

The Tigers won their opening game of the season in front of 60,000 people.

Pictures: Strafford XC Meet

Springfield Catholic swept the team titles while Tabitha Weber and Daylan Quinn clenched individual gold medals.

Pictures: Top 100 Photos of Week 2 Football

Catch the 100 best photos from the second week of the football season.
O-Zone Opinion
Mohawk Chronicles: Week 2 Football Recap
Who were the big players from Week 2 football? What do you have to look forward to in Week 3. I cover it all here. See all of Week Two's top plays in the video above. Big Man on Campus Johnny Healy, Mountain Grove – Often...
Read More
5 Takeaways from Mizzou's win over SDSU
Mizzou opened its football season with a 38-18 win over FCS opponent South Dakota State on Saturday. Here are five things I am taking away from the first game of the season. PICTURES: MIZZOU VS. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE - CLICK HERE 1. It is a good thing...
Read More
Win or lose, 2014's the turning point for Bears' program
 The freshness of a new season offers a chance for a fresh start, hope and the promise of a better future.   And if you’ve been a Missouri State football fan or follower for any part of the past two and a half decades, you know no team...
Read More
Most Viewed