A Closer Look at OC Breakers 2019 Team

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Orange County Breaker’s Steve Johnson.
— Photo by Jim Collins

Playing at home at Palisades Tennis Club, this year’s Orange County Breakers features homegrown talent Steve Johnson participating in three WTT matches, while Victoria Azarenka and Genie Bouchard will each play a single match.

Joining the trio are James Ward and Luke Bambridge, both will be making their league debuts this season.

And last, but certainly not least, Andreja Klepac joins the Breakers for the third consecutive season and Gibbs returns to Newport Beach for the fifth season in a row.

Coach Rick Leach is at the helm of the Breakers for the fourth season and is excited about the talented group of players General Manager Allen Hardison put together.

Johnson, the 2013 WTT Male Rookie of the Year, is in his fourth season with his local team. The former USC superstar and two-time NCAA singles champion is coming off a run to the third round of Wimbledon.

Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion, also just reached the third round of Wimbledon, but fell to the eventual champion. She will make her debut for the squad in Saturday’s game against the San Diego Aviators in a bout also featuring rising star Taylor Fritz.

Bouchard will look to kickstart a strong hardcourt season in Newport Beach on Tuesday. A native of Montreal, Canada, she will join the team to take on the Philadelphia Freedoms before beginning her North American swing.

A Davis Cup hero for Great Britain, Ward sports an ATP singles career-high ranking of No. 89 and owns four singles titles on the ATP Challenger Tour, as well as two doubles titles.

Fellow Englishman Bambridge enjoyed a breakout 2018 season, winning two ATP doubles titles and entered the top-100 of the rankings for the first time.

Klepac, the 2017 WTT Female MVP, is as solid in doubles as any player on tour, Breakers officials wrote in a statement. Finishing in the top-30 of the WTA rankings in each of the last four seasons, Klepac has won six WTA doubles titles and has also reached the quarterfinals at three of the four majors in women’s doubles, as well as one semifinal appearance in mixed doubles.

The 2016 WTT Female MVP Gibbs just had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in her mouth less than two months ago, according to officials. The former Stanford standout has WTA career-high rankings of No. 68 in singles and No. 107 in doubles, and is the other two-time NCAA singles champion on the roster.

For more information, visit breakerstennis.com.

Orange County Breakers tennis player Nicole Gibbs during a previous season at a home match in Newport Beach.
— Photo by Jim Collins
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