Philadelphia Freedoms Tickets
League: World TeamTennis
Philadelphia Freedoms First Match: May 6, 1974 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA
Location for Home Games: Hagan Arena at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia
Length of Season: 18 Days from Mid-July to Early August
Philadelphia Freedoms TicketsIn the first World TeamTennis match, the Philadelphia Freedoms squared off against the Pittsburgh Triangles in a losing cause. Billie Jean King was player-coach of the team with fellow athletes Fred Stolle, Buster Motram, Brian Fairlie, Tory Ann Fretz and Julie Anthony. In their first trip to the WTT finals in 1974 in Denver, the Freedoms were defeated by the Denver Racquets. The team disbanded, ceasing play between 1975 and 2001. Since its resurrection in 2001, the team has won two WTT championships. The Freedoms defeated the Springfield Lasers in Flushing Meadows, New York in 2001, and in 2006, they topped the Newport News Breakers in Newport Beach, California. Playing at home in 2018, they lost to the Springfield Lasers. King is the majority owner of the Freedoms and a minority owner of the league. She always intended for WTT to have male and female players as teammates, and that tradition continues. Make StubHub your source for Philadelphia Freedoms tickets.
What has WTT done to amp up the fan experience at the Philadelphia Freedoms games?The players’ names are on the back of their shirts; players wear microphones; and the league uses instant replay. The team holds a clinic for children before each game, and those who are 16 years of age and under can get player autographs after the match. Spectators may keep balls hit into the stands. All play takes under three hours to complete.
What’s the format for the games?Two men, two women and a coach make up each team. The team match ends after five sets with each set being five games. The event consists of one set each in men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles. For each game won, the team gets one point, and the team with the most points after five sets wins. If a set goes to 4-4, then the athletes play a nine-point tiebreaker. The outcome of the match goes into extended play if the team that was losing wins the final game of the last set. The athletes play until either the leading team wins one game or the team that was losing ties the match score. If the match is tied at the end of five sets or if the team that was losing ties the score in extended play, then the players in the final game have a 13-point super tiebreaker. When a team wins seven points, it wins the game and the match.
Who makes the difficult calls about on-court play?Hawk-Eve Live is an electronic line-calling system that makes quick and accurate decisions. Both the chair umpire at Hagan Arena and an official who monitors foot faults from the Hawk-Eye Live booth oversee the system in making calls. Precise tracking makes it easy for officials to know whether a ball is in or out.
What was play like in a couple of close matches?The year after the Freedoms lost to the Springfield Lasers in the WTT championship, they defeated them at home 22-20. During extended play, the Lasers pulled closer at 21-22. However, Taylor Townsend held serve to close out the match. No matter where they play, the Freedoms can have a match that makes the crowd get noisy in the final set. In one match, they played against the Washington Kastles. Though Venus Williams was leading 3-0 in the women’s singles game, Townsend came back to knot their battle at 4-4. Even though she lost the tiebreaker 5-4(2), she won in extended play. Since the Freedoms were already leading 23-17, they won the match 24-17.
What honors have the players and coach earned?Raquel Atawo was 2019 WTT Female MVP and Taylor Townsend garnered the same award in 2018. Rounding out the honorees are Fabrice Martin, who was selected as 2016 WTT Male Rookie of the Year, and Craig Kardon, who was named 2018 WTT Coach of the Year.
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