For Immediate Release
Springfield Lasers Draft Top Picks for 2010
The World TeamTennis Pro League completed its 2010 Professional League Players Draft earlier today. The Springfield Lasers, under the draft direction of General Manager Tom Adams, used the fifth pick in the draft’s first-round to select talented American newcomer, Carly Gullickson.
The Lasers also will welcome back to the team popular former Laser and 2005 WTT Rookie of the Year, Rik de Voest, as well as returns Martin Damm and Chani Scheepers from the 2009 Lasers’ Western Conference Championship team. The Lasers again retained the rights to Liezel Huber, World’s No. 1 Female Doubles team member. Team roster bios are as follows:
1st Round Pick (Roster Draft): Carly Gullickson – Versatile young 23-year-old American. Winner of two WTA Tour doubles titles, including the US Open Mixed Doubles title in 2009. She has won 17 ITF doubles titles and two ITF singles titles. Gullickson is currently ranked No. 74 in women's doubles and No. 177 in women's singles.
3rd Round Pick (Roster Draft): Chani Scheepers – Top-rated female doubles player for WTT in 2009. Returning for her third season as a Laser. Winner of 30 ITF tournaments (11 singles titles; 19 doubles titles). Current rankings of No. 134 in women's singles and No. 136 in women’s doubles. She is a 26-year-old South African native.
(Roster Exempt Player): Liezel Huber – The Lasers retained the rights to the World's No. 1 Female Doubles player (w/ Cara Black). Huber has won 41 career doubles titles, and is a current member of the U.S. Fed Cup team. Her number of matches to be played for the Lasers is still to be determined.
Complete bios on Gullickson, Scheepers, and Huber can be found at: www.wtatour.com .
2nd Round Pick (Roster Draft): Martin Damm – Returning for his second Lasers season, Damm is one of the most accomplished doubles players on the Men's ATP Tour. He has 40 career ATP doubles titles (primarily with Leander Paes) and was a doubles finalist in five Grand Slam events. Damm had a career-high of No. 5 in men's doubles in 2007. He is currently ranked No. 42 in the world. A native of the Czech Republic, Damm’s career earnings total $5,660,324.
3rd Round Pick (Roster Draft): Rik de Voest – Former Springfield Laser and WTT Rookie of the Year in 2005, and is also the top player for Coach de Jager’s South African Davis Cup Team. He won ATP Dubai Doubles Title in 2009. Extremely versatile player in both singles (No. 270) and doubles (No. 83). He is a 29-year-old South African native.
Complete bios on Damm and de Voest can be found at: www.atptennis.com
Returning Lasers Coach
John-Laffnie (J.L.) de Jager – Popular coach J.L. de Jager returns for his fourth season. WTT Coach of the Year for 2007, 2009 Lasers seasons. He is the current captain (and former player) of the South African Davis Cup team. He has coached Wes Moodie and Stephan Huss to Wimbledon Doubles title (2005). Former accomplished ATP player with seven career doubles titles, including final appearances at the US, Australian and French Opens.
Complete bio on Coach de Jager can be found at: www.atptennis.com
“We feel that this was another very strong player draft for the Lasers,” said team owner John Cooper. “We're really excited about bringing back Rik de Voest as a former Laser to play for us and his Davis Cup Coach (J.L. de Jager). Rik’s versatility is great, as he can play both singles and doubles. Also, Carly Gullickson is coming off of a U.S. Open Mixed Doubles title last fall, so having her available to pair up on the doubles court with both Martin Damm and Chani Scheeper should make for some pretty powerful tennis for our Laser fans.”
Special marquee visits from former Women’s World No. 1 players Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport highlight the Lasers 2010 home schedule. Davenport, three-time Grand Slam winner, and the St. Louis Aces team visit for the Lasers’ 2010 home opener on Monday, July 5. Hingis, winner of five Grand Slam Titles, visits with the New York Buzz on Saturday, July 17.
Tickets for both the Hingis and Davenport matches are only available now through the purchase of Lasers season tickets. Season tickets are $65 for grandstand seats and $135 for chair-back, and can be purchased online at www.springfieldlasers.com . Individual tickets prices and purchase dates for all seven matches will be announced shortly.
As the defending WTT Western Conference Champions, the Lasers are coming off of a perfect 8-0 home season (finishing 13-3 overall) in 2009. Ten pro teams will again be competing for the 2010 King Trophy over the duration of the upcoming WTT season, which is scheduled for July 5-25. All seven Lasers home matches are played in the Mediacom Tennis Stadium at Cooper Tennis Complex, 2331 E. Pythian St., 417-837-5800.
For more information, media contact: Tom Adams, Springfield Lasers General Manager, 417-864-1339 or 417-766-1894; or Bob Belote, Lasers Ownership Representative, 417-864-1327.