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Springfield successfully defends World TeamTennis title

BB&T Atlanta Open - Day 5

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JULY 24: Robert Lindstedt of Sweden returns a forehand to Jonathan Erlich of Israel and Divij Sharan of India during the BB&T Atlanta Open at Atlantic Station on July 24, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

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LAS VEGAS -- The Springfield Lasers successfully defended their World TeamTennis title Saturday night, rallying to beat the New York Empire 20-19 at Orleans Arena.

After a 22-year championship drought, the Missouri club hoisted the King Trophy for the second consecutive season in front of World TeamTennis co-founder Billie Jean King.

With Springfield down 17-15 entering the men’s doubles set finale, the Lasers’ Robert Lindstedt - the 2014 Australian Open doubles champion - and Evan Song overpowered Neal Skupski and Ulises Blanch 5-2.

Las Vegas native Song joined Springfield for the playoffs, replacing the injured Enrique Lopez Perez.

“Being from Vegas and winning in an event like this, it’s just a dream for me,” Song said. “It was an incredible atmosphere. I think I turned some of them (the fans) into Springfield fans.”

New York made the playoffs for the first time in its four years in the league. The Empire finished last in 2018.

Blanch opened the match with a 5-3 victory over Song in men’s singles. The Empire’s Kirsten Flipkens and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez then beat Abigail Spears and Olga Govortsova 5-4 in women’s doubles.

Spears and Lindstedt topped Skupski and Martinez Sanchez 5-2 in mixed doubles, and Flipkens beat Govortsova 5-3 in women’s singles to pull the Lasers within two entering men’s doubles.