The 2020 season featured a star-studded field of players all competing in West Virginia. With crowd favorites Jack Sock and Kim Clijsters, the No. 4 seed New York Empire beat the No. 1 seed Philadelphia Freedoms in the semi-final before beating the Chicago Smash to claim the 2020 World TeamTennis title. With the season coming down to the final point at 6-6 in the Supertiebreaker, Coco Vandeweghe hit a forehand winner to clinch the match, earning WTT Finals MVP in the process. With the New York Empire entering the 2021 season as the defending champions and everybody else looking up to dethrone them, here are our way-too-early power rankings for the 2021 season.
- Vegas Rollers
The Rollers finished in 8th place at the end of the 2020 season with a 5-9 record. On paper, coming into the league the Rollers were looking as the favorites. All the stars were aligned for Vegas with Bob and Mike Bryan, arguably the greatest doubles team of all time, and American favorite Sam Querrey. We can’t forget to mention Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig. As the Bryan Brothers announced their retirement from the ATP Tour, the Rollers could be facing a huge loss at men’s doubles. The Rollers will look to add some additions to help grow their team and have a stronger showing for the 2021 season.
- Springfield Lasers
The Lasers won the championship in 2019, but couldn’t defend the title. While many rosters changed, the Lasers roster largely stayed intact. Jean-Julien Rojer and Hayley Carter highlighted the team while rising star Catherine Mcnally pulled out some big wins for the Lasers. The Lasers will look to have a stronger 2021 campaign.
- San Diego Aviators
The Aviators finished the 2020 season 4-10 and found the most success in women’s doubles. Christian and Ryan Harrison led the way for the Aviators on the men’s side and Sabine Lisicki and Christina Mchale on the women’s side. The Aviators have yet to announce their rosters for the 2021 season, but with the Olympics this year, the roster could look a little different for the 2021 season. The Aviators will be competitive, but for them to get through the other teams, they will have to make big adjustments.
- Washington Kastles
Coming off of a tough 2020 season where the Kastles narrowly missed the postseason, Washington will look to bounce back in 2021. Washington hometown native Francis Tiafoe was unable to compete due to COVID-19. However, Tiafoe’s good friend Tommy Paul jumped in and played. Women’s singles legend Venus Williams represented the Kastles for the women while doubles legend Nicholas Monroe took care of doubles. With a lot up in the air for the Kastles and the team entering 2021, it is going to be interesting to see how things shake out for them. The Kastles finished the 2020 season 6-8, and missed the playoffs by one match. Keep an eye out to see what the Kastles bring in 2021.
- Orlando Storm
The Storm finished the season in second place before losing to the Chicago Smash in the semi-finals. The Storm were the dark horse of the 2020 season. Projected to finish outside the top 4, they shocked the WTT world and finished in second. Tennys Sandgren led the team on the men’s side while rising American star Jessica Pegula led for the women. With a little roster shake up during their time at the Greenbrier, the Storm didn’t allow for that distraction to hurt them. Pegula is already off to an unbelievable 2021, and things are looking up for Sandgren. The WTT fan base have high hopes for the Storm in 2021, so it will be interesting to see what they can bring.
- Philadelphia Freedoms
The regular season champions look to try and come back and finish what they started. If the Freedom’s roster looks similar, they will be a very tough team in 2021. Top ranked American Taylor Fritz was at the forefront for the men in 2020 while Sofia Kenin was at it for the women. One can expect Fritz and Kenin to attend the Olympics, which would put a dent on the team, however, the Freedoms have been strong for years. With their strong consistent resume, they are bound to be tough with or without Fritz and Kenin.
- New York Empire
The champions of the 2020 season. The Empire pulled off an unbelievable win against the No. 1 seed Philadelphia Freedoms in the semi-final before beating the Chicago Smash to win the title. The Empire saw the re-birth of Jack Sock in singles play and Hall of Famer Kim Clijsters coming in with all of her talent and experience. The Empire entered the league in 2016, and 2020 was their first ever championship. There are high expectations for the Empire for the 2021 season to match their success last season.
- Orange County Breakers
The 2017 championship team missed the four team playoff by two matches in 2020. The 2020 season was a tough season for the Breakers. Before the start they had top ranked Grigor Dimitrov signed to play and then later on, they had Milos Raonic who eventually pulled out before the season kicked off at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. The Breakers had top ranked Jennifer Brady and fan favorite Steve Johnson along with highly ranked doubles players in Gabriela Dabrowski, Luke Bambridge and Andreja Klepac. Austin Krajicek, who was added midseason provided a huge boost to the team in doubles. If the team can get off to a stronger start they are definitely bound for an incredible 2021 season.
- Chicago Smash
The No. 3 seeds entering the playoffs eventually lost to the New York Empire in the championship match. This match was one for the ages as the Smash eventually lost 20-21 in the super tie-breaker. The Smash are coached by Kamau Murray who is from Chicago and currently coaches Sloane Stephens on tour. Stephens plays for the Smash alongside rising star Brandon Nakashima and fan favorite Eugenie Bouchard. American Rajeev Ram who is a top ranked doubles player also plays for the Smash. In 2021 the Smash look to come back for some revenge. Nakashima is a rising superstar and Stephens will always be competitive. Even if the Smash keep the same team and all other teams improve, the Smash will still be the favorite entering the season. The players are hungry to win, and they have great team chemistry off the court. The Smash will be a force to reckon with and that is why they are No. 1 in the way too early power rankings.