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John Harvard's Journal

Pro Tennis at Harvard

May-June 2005

This summer, professional sports will return to campus for the first time since the Boston (now the New England) Patriots played at Harvard Stadium in 1970. Beginning on July 4, the Boston Lobsters of World Team Tennis (WTT) will play their seven home matches on an indoor court at Bright Hockey Center. There are 12 WTT franchises; the Lobsters ( represent a reincarnation of the original team of 1974-78, one of the best-known in the original WTT. Coincidentally, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, M.B.A. ’65, owned the Lobsters in 1977; his roster included such stars as Roy Emerson, Martina Navratilova, and current Lobsters coach Anne Smith.

A new Boston Lobster and an old one: James Blake '01 joins the revived team, while Martina Navratilova returns after a quarter-century hiatus.
Photographs by Fred and Susan Mullane / Camerawork USA

Remarkably, Navratilova returns to her old team and will again play for the Lobsters this year. The WTT draft also brought brothers James Blake ’01 and Tom Blake ’98 to the Lobsters’ roster. The Blake brothers were standouts on the Harvard varsity who both became professional players; James was college tennis’s National Player of the Year in 1999 and has played U. S. Davis Cup tennis. In another Crimson tie, former associate men’s tennis coach Peter Mandeau is the Lobsters’ general manager and chief operating officer. Boston and Harvard have long and storied connections with tennis, so the Lobsters expect to draw enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans.