New Orleans, NY (PressExposure) February 14, 2012 -- The New York Sportimes today retained two legendary former world No. 1 players in the 2012 World TeamTennis Marquee Player Draft, by protecting its rights to John McEnroe and Martina Hingis in rounds one and three, respectively. McEnroe will return to the Sportimes for his 11th year as the team's captain and Hingis will be back for her fourth and second consecutive year with the Sportimes. For the second straight year, the NY Sportimes will play five matches at Sportime Randall's Island, the 20-court club that is home to the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, and two matches at SEFCU Arena in Albany, N.Y.
The 2012 schedule for the WTT Pro League presented by GEICO (July 9-29) will be announced in March, and the remainder of the roster will be revealed following the WTT Roster Player Draft on March 13. The top two teams from both the Western and Eastern Conference advance to the WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO, Sept. 14-16, at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.
Hingis returned to the Sportimes last year after having helped lead the team to the WTT Championship in 2005, then returning to the WTA Tour in early 2006.
"John is our captain, and our leader here every day on Randall's Island at the McEnroe Academy, and Martina lead us to a WTT title. They both love to compete and to win, so I couldn't be happier to have them both back for 2012," said Sportime Clubs and NY Sportimes CEO Claude Okin. "John and Martina will be supported by the best team of active tour players that we can draft next month, and the Sportimes are looking forward to making another run at the World TeamTennis Championship, while promoting the great, life-long sport of tennis to our returning fans and to new ones; especially to all the great young fans that cheer for us every year."
Marquee players who are scheduled to compete against the Sportimes include Venus Williams (Washington Kastles) and John Isner (Boston Lobsters), both to play matches in Albany. Marquee players typically play a limited schedule while roster players play the full season, but Martina Hingis played 12 matches for the Sportimes last season and is scheduled to play a minimum of 10 matches for the team this year. Additional marquee players are expected to be announced prior to the start of the season.
The Sportimes finished one win out of first place in the Eastern Conference last year after winning the Eastern Conference title in 2010.