Freedoms protect rights to Raymond

Posted: March 28, 2007

The Freedoms protected their rights to Lisa Raymond of Wayne with their first selection in yesterday's World Team Tennis draft in Miami.

Raymond, 33, who led the Freedoms to the WTT championship last year and in 2001, is the top-ranked doubles player in the world. She holds 62 career women's doubles titles, and was the WTA Tour's 2006 women's doubles player of the year.

Daniel Nestor and Fred Niemeyer will rejoin Raymond, and Olga Savchuk will be new to the team.

"We're very serious about making another run for the King Trophy this summer, and we have the lineup to do it," Freedoms general manager Jeff Harrison said.

Nestor, the 2006 WTT male MVP, is an Olympic gold medalist and a member of the Canadian Davis Cup team. He won the 2007 Australian Open mixed-doubles title with Elena Likhovtseva.

Niemeyer, a solid singles player, is Nestor's teammate on the Canadian Olympic team. The two are undefeated as teammates in Davis Cup men's doubles.

"Olga Savchuk is a young, up-and-coming solid singles and doubles player who will likely add a lot of energy to the Freedoms team," Freedoms coach Craig Kardon said.

Raymond, Nestor, Niemeyer and Savchuk join franchise star Venus Williams, who was protected by the team in February. Marquee visits include Pete Sampras on July 19 and John McEnroe on July 16.

The Freedoms play 14 matches - including seven on their home courts at Cabrini College in Radnor - during the regular season, which runs July 5-25.

For information or to buy season tickets, call 1-866-988-8497 or go to www.philadelphiafreedoms. com.

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