The 45th edition of the World TeamTennis will take place between July 12 - August 1, 2020, in what should be the most exciting three weeks in the history of the prestigious event. Orlando Storm and Vegas Rollers joined the action in 2019, allowing more players to experience the magic of the WTT and the crowd to see some of their favorite competitors in action.
Using the unique multi-colored court, WTT was the first professional sports league that featured men and women in the same team, all under the solid guidance of the WTA trailblazer and one of the greatest players of all time, Billie Jean King.
On May 9, 1974, WTT became the first regularly scheduled tennis serves coverage on HBO and it has gathered the names like Andre Agassi, Kevin Anderson, Tracy Austin, Victoria Azarenka, Boris Becker, James Blake, Bjorn Borg, Bob and Mike Bryan, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick and many others.
In a nail-biting final this summer, the Springfield Lasers completed an exciting 20-19 victory over the New York Empire to defend the title, with the WTT Playoff returning to Orleans Arena at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on July 31 and August 1, gathering four best teams that would fight for the prestigious title and the record-breaking prize money!
The organizers have increased the prize money to a tremendous $5 million, with the added $1 million awarded in WTT Playoffs compensation, including a $500,000 bonus to the team that wins the King Trophy. Besides that, two new franchises will join the action in the upcoming months, bringing the total number of squads to ten and preparing to host the strongest possible field of players from both the ATP and WTA circuits.
Also, the World TeamTennis is launching a new free agency player recruitment pattern ahead of 2020 season, allowing teams to sign players from December 2. With the free agency, teams will have more freedom in arranging their roosters, eliminating the famous WTT draft that was usually starting in March.
Teams will be able to sign the players they had in the previous season and a salary cap will also be in charge to make everything clean and equal. By March 17, squads will gather players on a four-year deal, with the opportunity to add franchise players any time they want.
"We are really excited to jump into this new era of World TeamTennis with our new free agency player procurement model," WTT CEO and President Carlos Silva said. "This design gives our teams more flexibility to go after players that might be better fitting for their franchises.
In the draft model, teams were fairly restricted on which players they could select once their draft position rolled around. This way teams can go after whoever they feel appropriate. Our teams have a lot of good relationships with some of the top players in the world and we wanted to leverage those relationships," Silva said.
"We have given the teams more power in recruiting as roster spots will fill up fast. With the increase of prize money that we announced last month, we've had several inbound calls from some of the best players in the world.
Team formats are the future of tennis and players love playing WTT. We expect team rosters to be completed as early as the 2020 Australian Open for some teams."