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New York Buzz Competition Features Williams, Navratilova

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June 26, 2009

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Tennis star Venus Williams

Tennis superstar Venus Williams is set to compete against the N.Y. Buzz at SEFCU Arena on July 9.

The World TeamTennis (WTT) defending champion New York Buzz will take to the courts at the University at Albany's SEFCU Arena for their 2009 season home opener at 7:30 p.m. on July 3. One of the WTT's premier teams, the Buzz's competition this year will include tennis superstars Venus Williams on July 9 and Martina Navratilova on July 14.

When these marquee players arrive on campus, it'll be a surreal moment for UAlbany tennis standout Susan Ma, of Parkville, MO. As a young player, Ma hung a poster of one of her childhood heroes on her bedroom wall -- Navratilova.

"She's a legend in this game. Her name is synonymous with great tennis," said Ma, a junior business administration major. "It will be such a thrill to meet her. I have no idea what I'll say, but I'm sure I'll walk away with a big smile on my face. I'm so excited."

Ma, along with teammates Charlotte Tatler of Staffordshire, England and Caitlin Crowley of Burnt Hills, N.Y., will assist the New York Buzz and their opponents during home games at SEFCU Arena. Being up-close and personal with professional athletes, not to mention legends like Williams and Navratilova, will undoubtedly be a memorable experience for them.

"After watching how they work and their attitudes on the court, I think it will give the team a boost and make us want to work even harder and strive for what they've accomplished," said Ma.

Susan Ma, UAlbany tennis player

UAlbany junior Susan Ma will be among the University's tennis players assisting at New York Buzz home games at SEFCU Arena.

The Buzz, who captured their first WTT Championship last year, are one of  11 teams throughout the U.S. and competes in the WTT Pro League's Eastern Conference. The Buzz will field the WTT's youngest team ever with a lineup of four up-and-coming American junior prospects, a WTT first. The new-look Buzz will be Alex Domijan, 17; Evan King, 17; Christina McHale, 16; and Sloane Stephens, 16.

The 2009 season will be the 34th year of World TeamTennis action. WTT is known for introducing innovative elements to tennis including instant replay, co-ed format, cumulative and no-ad scoring, on-court coaching, Supertiebreakers, multi-colored courts and player names on back of their shirts.

The unique gender-balanced team concept for WTT was created in the early 1970s by League co-founders Billie Jean King and Larry King. The format used for a WTT Pro League match features teams comprising two men, two women, and a coach. Each match consists of five sets, with one set each of men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

N.Y. Buzz's 2009 home schedule:

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