Marc Vandam and I faced the #1 seeded team late Wednesday, starting at 4 p.m., with the temp in the high 80â€™s, but the humidity low. The opposition was Rob Bankowski, a 40-year-old lefty and Jim Harris, a 32-year-old 5.0 righty â€“ and last yearâ€™s champions.
In the first set, it felt like I was back at Newkâ€™s camp playing doubles with strong Jimmy Miller as my partner and the target painted on my chest. I was able to hold my ground at the net; but we were unable to hold my serve two times and lost quickly at 6-2.
Marc and I agreed that we had to be more aggressive on my serve, like we were on his: with Australian, poaching, and fakes. The plan seemed to work, as we held my serve and went up a break on them in the second set.
Unfortunately, we gave the break back to them; but then had another great break opportunity with their serving at 3-4. We didnâ€™t convert and I had to serve the big 4-4 game. We played a real strong game and won easily, to have them serve at 4-5.
We were rock solid and they felt the pressure of our taking control of the net; and we broke them to take the second set 6-4.
In the third set, we kept the pressure on them and broke to be serving at 4-2. We had a couple of chances to take the game and a 5-2 lead, but didnâ€™t; so they broke back to be on serve 3-4.
They held (a much too easy game) and then we served and lost another quick game to go down 4-5.
We changed court sides with the lefty serving for the match. He had had trouble holding serve under pressure; but did this time for the third set and the match.
It was in our grasp; but not taken. All in all, I felt happy with how I/we played; but much rather would have been reporting another upset victory.
Next up: my 65 singles opponent forfeited with an ankle injury; so I move forward to the finals against an opponent to be determined by a match to be played.