Steve Johnson and Ken Skupski both won two sets as the Orange County Breakers defeated the Springfield Lasers, 23-15, in their 2017 World TeamTennis home opener Monday evening at Breakers Stadium at Palisades Tennis Club.

Johnson and Skupski opened the match by defeating Jean-Julian Rojer and Benjamin Becker, 5-2, in men’s doubles.

Skupski and Andreja Klepac were 5-2 winners over Rojer and Abigail Spears in mixed doubles to increase the Breakers lead to 15-8 after Nicole Gibbs defeated Francesca Schiavone, 5-4, in women’s singles. The 37-year-old Schiavone was the 2010 French Open women’s singles champion.

Johnson, a former USC and Orange High School standout who is 31st on the Association of Tennis Professionals singles rankings, concluded the match with a 5-2 victory over Becker, a 36-year-old German who is not related to the German International Tennis Hall of Fame member Boris Becker.

Springfield (1-1) won its only set when Schiavone and Spears and defeated Gibbs and Klepac, 5-3, in women’s doubles, the night’s fourth set.

Gibbs, the league’s female MVP in 2016, was making her only 2017 appearance for the Breakers (1-1), who will next play Wednesday at Washington. Their next home match will be Saturday against the New York Empire.

Monday’s match marked the Breakers return to Palisades Tennis Club, where they played their first four seasons, 2003-2006. They played at the Newport Beach Tennis Club last season, their first back in Southern California after playing in Austin, Texas, from 2014-15.

–City News Service

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