2018 Opening Night Blog

Posted on July 15, 2018

Rancho Santa Fe Native Taylor Fritz Will Headline a Powerful Team

And just like that, it’s time for Aviators tennis at Carlsbad’s Omni La Costa Resort & Spa! The WTT season kicks off this Sunday when the Springfield Lasers meet the Aviators on their home turf. Rancho Santa Fe native Taylor Fritz will lead the team in the matchup, with first serve at 6 p.m.

The 20-year-old Fritz, who now lives in Palos Verdes, near where he trains at USTA Training Center West in Carson, California, is currently ranked No. 68 in the world. He reached the second round at Wimbledon last week before falling to fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (0), 6-1, 6-2.

San Diego’s home opener marks the first of two WTT appearances this season for Fritz, who is also scheduled to play for the Aviators in their second home match at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 16 against the Philadelphia Freedoms.

In addition to having Fritz for the first two home matches, the Aviators 2018 roster includes Great Britain’s Naomi Broady, who helped the Aviators reach the 2017 WTT Finals, and Marcus Willis, along with doubles specialists Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Marcin Matkowski of Poland.

The Springfield Lasers, who are making the first of two visits to Carlsbad to face the Aviators this season, will bring a strong team that includes Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia, American Vania King, Canada’s Daniel Nestor, and Abigail Spears, a former San Diego County resident who was born in Valley Center.

“It’s going to be a great evening of World TeamTennis as the players look forward to playing their home opener,” said San Diego Aviators General Manager Jim Ault. “Having Taylor in our line-up will give us a strong start to the season as we try to make it to the WTT Finals for the third straight year. I encourage fans to come, have fun, and watch some very entertaining tennis.”

Officiating at Aviators home matches will take on a new look during the 2018 WTT season as the league will adopt the use of the electronic line-calling system Hawk-Eye Live for all matches.

Hawk-Eye Live will make the on-court calls, supported by only two officials — the chair umpire and a review official in the Hawk-Eye booth to monitor foot faults. The real-time ball-tracking technology determines whether a shot is in or out immediately after it has landed.

The electronic line-calling system will use 12 ball-tracking cameras and six foot fault cameras. With 43 matches over 22 days in six team markets, the utilization of Hawk-Eye Live will be the most extensive implementation of electronic line-calling in tennis.

The automated line-calling technology is also expected to help streamline play, building on a trend with WTT matches. With the addition of coach’s timeouts in 2012 and the 25-second service clock in 2015, WTT match times have been reduced by approximately 30 minutes over the past five seasons.

Click herefor the Aviators complete 2018 schedule. We’ll see you at La Costa!