The woman in blue is Karolina Pliskova, 21, of Louny, Czech Republic. She is 6-foot-1, right-handed and the No. 107 player in the world. The woman in pink is Karolina's twin sister, Kristyna. She is 6-0, left-handed, and the No. 125 player in the world.
It's Monday morning, and the Pliskovas are playing mixed doubles with their Freedoms teammates, Luka Gregorc and Jordan Kerr. Folded-up wooden bleachers surround the court, and men work nearby, hanging banners and plopping black, individual cushions on some of the seats.
The workers are preparing for Tuesday night, when the Freedoms open their World TeamTennis schedule at 7 p.m. against the Sacramento Capitals. The WTT format demands teams play five sets, each of a different format: women's singles, men's singles, women's doubles, men's doubles, mixed doubles.
Because of these rules, the sisters will both play two sets. One will play a singles set. One will play on the mixed doubles team, and they will work together on the women's doubles team. Coach Josh Cohen said Monday he won't decide the sisters' roles until hours before Tuesday's match. In the mixed doubles set, one of the sisters could team with marquee player James Blake, who is coming to town Tuesday for the match.
The Freedoms selected Karolina with the first overall pick in the WTT draft in March. In the second round, they picked Kristyna. They had to. The sisters asked to play on the same team.
"We are always together," Karolina said. "If we aren't on the same team, I don't think I want to play in the WTT."
The sisters have played tennis since they were 4 years old. Their father, a former hockey player who stands about 6-6, ushered them to the sport. He didn't push the girls to practice, Kristyna said. They took to the sport naturally. But when it came to the matches, dad watched, and he was strict. No little mistakes allowed.
Soon, Karolina said, the Pliskovas were too good for players their age. And in the Czech Republic, they weren't allowed to compete against older players. So when they were 9 years old, the girls moved to Wolfsburg, Germany, to play against 12-year-olds.
Their games have improved since. As a junior in 2010, Karolina won the Australian Open girls' title. Later that year, Kristyna won the Wimbledon girls' title. In 2011, Kristyna qualified for the Wimbledon main draw, and this year Karolina did the same at the Australian Open.
Cohen's sister, Julia, also competes on the Women's Tennis Association Tour, and the coach has followed the Pliskovas' young careers. They could be the best women's players in the WTT this season, Cohen said. They're tall, and they can pound the ball about as hard as any woman in the league.
"Tennis is a big power sport," Cohen said. "Look at the strength they have. Not everyone has that kind of power coming off their racket."
He also praised their chemistry. On most WTT squads, two women are paired together who have never played doubles before. But not the Pliskovas. They were born to play together, the right-handed and left-handed sisters.
"We know each other," Kristyna said. "I know how she thinks. With her, I'm not nervous at all."
2012 Freedoms Schedule
All home matches, 7 p.m., at the Pavilion at Villanova University.
Tuesday: vs. Sacramento Capitals (featuring the Freedoms' James Blake).
Wednesday: vs. Boston Lobsters.
Friday: At New York Sportimes, Sportime Stadium at Randall's Island, N.Y., 7 p.m. (featuring the Freedoms' Ryan Harrison and the Sportimes' Martina Hingis).
Saturday: vs. Springfield Lasers.
Sunday: At Washington Kastles, Kastles Stadium at the Wharf, Washington, D.C., 7:10 p.m.
Monday: vs. Kansas City Explorers, 7 p.m. (featuring the Explorers' Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan).
July 18: At New York Sportimes, Sportime Stadium at Randall's Island, N.Y., 7 p.m. (featuring Martina Hingis).
July 19: vs. Orange County Breakers.
July 20: vs. New York Sportimes (featuring the Sportimes' Martina Hingis and John McEnroe).
July 23: At Boston Lobsters, the Joan Norton Stadium at the Ferncroft Country Club, Danvers Mass., 6 p.m. (featuring the Lobsters' John Isner).
July 24: At Washington Kastles, Kastles Stadium at the Wharf , Washington, D.C., 7:10 p.m.
July 25: vs. Boston Lobsters (featuring the Freedoms' Mark Philippoussis).
July 27: At Sacramento Capitals, Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Citrus Heights, Calif., 7:35 p.m. (featuring Mark Philippoussis).
July 28: At Orange County Breakers, Bren Events Center at UC Irvine Campus, Irvine, Calif., 7 p.m. (featuring Mark Philippoussis and the Breakers' Lindsay Davenport).
Coach: Josh Cohen. He was the Freedoms' assistant coach in 2010 and 2011 and is the men's varsity assistant at Penn. He played for the Delaware Smash in 2008.
James Blake, Tampa, Fla., righthanded. He had a career-high singles ranking of No. 4 in November 2006, and has won 10 ATP singles titles.
Mark Philippoussis, San Diego, Calif., righthanded. He won 11 singles titles, reached a career-high ranking of No. 8 in 1999, and lost to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon finals in 2003.
Luka Gregorc, Ljubljana, Slovenia, righthanded. A WTT rookie, his career-high singles ranking of No. 172 was in March 2009.
Jordan Kerr, Adelaide, Australia, righthanded. He has won nine ATP doubles titles and represented Australia at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Karolina Pliskova, Louny, Czech Republic, righthanded. A twin sister of Kristyna, she reached career-high rankings in both singles (No. 121) and doubles (No. 91) in 2012.
Kristyna Pliskova, Louny, Czech Republic, lefthanded. She won the Wimbledon junior singles title in 2010, and qualified for Wimbledon main draw in 2011.
Contact Tyler Jett at 215-854-4550 or email@example.com