Breakers win big

IRVINE — Literally and figuratively, the Orange County Breakers made quick work of the Kansas City Explorers on Wednesday night at the Bren Events Center.

The match was over in just one hour, 49 minutes. On Military Appreciation Night, fans were given camouflage hats.

The Breakers, in turn, kicked behind and took names.

Orange County won every set in a 25-8 World Team Tennis rout, evening its season record at 1-1.

"It was a good turnaround after Monday's defeat [to defending champion Washington]," the Breakers' Anna-Lena Groenefeld said. "All of us played really well, so we were really happy. We were playing great tennis tonight. It was really fun."

Groenefeld has played great in each of the team's first two matches. She stopped playing singles on the WTA Tour last year but is still ranked No. 28 in doubles.

For the Breakers, she has excelled in all areas with her power game from the baseline. She defeated Tetiana Luzhanska of Kansas City, 5-1, in singles, before teaming up with marquee player Lindsay Davenport for a 5-2 victory over Luzhanska and Chanel Simmonds.

"I stopped singles because I wasn't happy on court anymore, but I still love playing tennis," Groenefeld said. "To play here in Team Tennis, it's fun. I just go out there and try to enjoy myself. So far, it's turned out good."

Everything turned out good Wednesday. The opening set, when John-Patrick Smith and Travis Parrott teamed up for a 5-0 victory over Nick Monroe and Aisam Qureshi of Kansas City (1-1) was also huge.

In Monday's loss to Washington, the Breakers had fallen, 5-1, in the opening mixed doubles set.

"Tonight it all came together," Breakers Coach Trevor Kronemann said. "We all played really, really well. We just wanted to get out to a quick start and build the momentum tonight, and we did exactly that … In this league, you lose a 5-0 or a 5-1 set, I would venture to say you lose [the match] 80% of the time, that'd be my guess. You just can't give away those types of sets and expect to win, especially on an indoor surface."

The Breakers also won in mixed doubles, when Davenport and Parrott defeated Luzhanska and Qureshi, 5-3. After the women's doubles victory, Orange County led, 20-6, headed into the final set.

Smith finished it off with a 5-2 men's singles victory over Monroe.

"You see J.P.'s energy, you see Anna-Lena playing well, and Travis and Lindsay will both get up to speed again and get going," Kronemann said. "I think we've got a really good team … they lost Monday and they were a little bit embarrassed, and they wanted to come out and play well tonight."

Orange County plays at Sacramento on Friday, when the Capitals will be featuring American star Mardy Fish. The Breakers then play host to the Capitals on Saturday, back at the Bren.

Saturday's match is Orange County Family Night. All kids 16 and under will receive an OC Breakers autograph book from FlutterFrog is the Breakers' new mascot this season.

The Breakers have been using a local young star, Parris Todd, as their alternate player. Todd, an Irvine resident, just turned 14 years old. If she gets into a match this season, she will set the record for the youngest player to play in a WTT match.

Twitter: @mjszabo

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