Chicago returns to World TeamTennis with expansion Smash

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 20: Sloane Stephens of the United States plays a forehand during her Women’s Singles first round match against Shuai Zhang of China on day one of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — Chicago will return to World TeamTennis this summer, with 2017 U.S. Open women’s champion Sloane Stephens leading the expansion Smash.

Stephens’ coach, Chicago native Kamau Murray, will coach the team that will play its home matches at Credit Union 1 Arena on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Chicago’s addition Monday gives the league nine teams for the 2020 season. The Orlando Storm and Vegas Rollers joined WTT in 2019, when a four-team playoff was added in Las Vegas.

The Chicago Aces were one of the eight charter franchises in that league that Billie Jean King co-founded in 1973. They became the Chicago Fyre in 1983, when King led the franchise to its only WTT title.

The Smash will play their first match July 13 at the two-time defending WTT champion Springfield Lasers.

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