The New York Empire and Chicago Smash faced off in the World TeamTennis Final at The Greenbrier "America's Resort" in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia and the Empire came out on top. New York won on ultimate point. The event took place on August 2 at 12 p.m. ET and was shown on CBS.
The Smash were one set away from the winning, but the Empire was able to strike back. Coco Vandeweghe and Nicole Melichar took the deciding point of the tiebreaker to send the Championship to Extended Play, giving NY the confidence to take the win.
The Supertiebreaker win was one for the ages as Vandeweghe and Melichar fought back to help their team be the first to seven wins.
The Empire took the title earned the King Trophy and $1 million in prize money.
#WTTChampionship: Start spreading the news! The Empire has struck back in and epic Supertiebreaker win! Congratulations to the #WTT2020 Champion @nyempiretennis 🗽 who've earned the coveted #KingTrophy 🏆 as well as a share of $1 million in prize money! #EveryPointCounts pic.twitter.com/OX4xiUDldR— World TeamTennis (@WorldTeamTennis) August 2, 2020
Take a look at the deciding point, where Vandeweghe hit a forehand return winner down the middle:
#WTT2020: On the deciding point in the Supertiebreaker, @CoCoVandey smacks a forehand return winner down the middle to seal the #WTTChampionship and #KingTrophy for the @nyempiretennis, 21-20, over the @ChicagoSmashWTT! #NYvsCHI #EveryPointCounts pic.twitter.com/2dkoz1UWfz— World TeamTennis (@WorldTeamTennis) August 2, 2020
Vandeweghe was named the WTT Championship Female MVP.
#WTT2020: Congratulations to @CoCoVandey for being named 2020 #WTTChampionship Female MVP after helping lead the @nyempiretennis to an epic come-from-behind win against the @ChicagoSmashWTT to claim the #KingTrophy🏆! #EveryPointCounts pic.twitter.com/PtMRNJsGlN— World TeamTennis (@WorldTeamTennis) August 2, 2020
The teamed event was one of the first in the United States to welcome fans in amidst the coronavirus pandemic and was able to do so after strict protocols for players and commitment to safety from everyone involved. The Final welcomed in limited fans.
The New York Empire found their way to the Finals after faring well enough against their regular season opponents to clinch a playoff berth. They sat in the standings at 7 wins and 7 losses as the final of the four teams to make the playoffs. They just beat out the Washington Kastles who ended with 6 wins and 8 losses.
Their path to the Finals was through the Philadelphia Freedoms, who they beat in the semifinals.
The Chicago Smash clinched a playoff berth with 9 wins and 5 losses. They had the third-best record in the playoffs and beat the Orlando Storm to grab their spot in the Finals.
New York will be without star player Kim Clijsters, who is out due to injury and the team will lean on Coco Vandeweghe and Nicole Melichar who look to bounce back after a loss. They will be given no easy feat, facing off against Eugenie Bouchard and female season MVP Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who have meshed well on the Storm.
The Empire's Jack Sock and Neal Skupski are on a three-match win streak and will try to extend it against Rajeev Ram and Brandon Nakashima who won their last two games.
The Smash and Empire did not finish the regular season with the two best records, that went to the Storm who finished with a 10-4 record and the Freedoms who clinched the No. 1 overall seed with a 12-2 record.
When speaking with CBS Sports, a few participating in the tournament mentioned that they loved the unique element of a team and emphasized that unlike some other events, every single game counts significantly.