World TeamTennis reviewed: Tim Henman-sponsored product rather than tennis competition

LONDON — The $34.5 million World TeamTennis tournament has been staged for the past two years under the umbrella of International Tennis Federation, which last year formally added the men’s pro tours to its…

World TeamTennis reviewed: Tim Henman-sponsored product rather than tennis competition

LONDON — The $34.5 million World TeamTennis tournament has been staged for the past two years under the umbrella of International Tennis Federation, which last year formally added the men’s pro tours to its roster of events.

But most tennis fans are probably in the dark about how the event came to be, which is just as well given the interest is likely to fade into insignificance before most have had their fill of the dynamic competition.

WTT from the outside looks very much like it should be a part of the BNP Paribas ATP World Tour, as, unlike similar team-oriented, streamlined World Tour leagues like Horsepower or Omega, WTT is a companion to the ATP, too.

At the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows on Tuesday, it was common to hear calls of “ATP” accompanied by laughter and jibes from crowds and reporters alike, giving an idea of how the women’s version of WTT, with its women pro tours and doubles events, almost too closely mirrors the women’s professional tennis calendar that merged in 2002.

But shortly after the Lendl club of big-name celebrities – Novak Djokovic, who became WTT’s co-founder when paired in November 2015 with his tennis superstar wife, Jelena Ristic – was paired against the Racquet Club of Stuttgart, the father of the modern ATP Championships joined the coaching coaching staff.

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