Weekend Wild Card Doubles Results

Panama Davis Cupper Luis Gomez and partner Junior Tavarez from the Dominican Republic withstood a stretch of losing 12 straight points in the second set-tiebreaker into the decisive match tiebreaker to defeat top-seeds Tanner Povey of Indian Rock Beach, Florida and Dylan Jaen of Hilton Head, S.C. 3-6, 7-6 (0), (11-9) to win the main draw doubles “wild card” tournament for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships.

Gomez and Tavarez will play in the doubles main draw at the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit event that will be held April 22-28 also at the Vero Beach Tennis & Fitness Club.

The unseeded duo seemingly had the match in hand, leading 6-3 and holding double match point receiving serve at 4-5, 30-40 in the no-ad scoring doubles format. However, Povey, who will play for Arizona State in the Fall, and Jaen, who will play for Boise State, fought back, fighting off the first match point with a furious volley exchange and the second, benefitting from an odd low bouncing ball that slid under the racket of Tavarez. Povey and Jaen managed to force a second-set tiebreaker, which they won 7-0. The American duo then took a 5-0 lead in the decisive 10-point match tiebreaker, losing an incredible 12 points in a row. However, Gomez and Tavarez then out of nowhere went on to win the next seven points to lead 7-5. Povey and Jaen managed to tie the score at 7-7 before Povey missed a backhand return and double faulted to give Gomez and Tavarez two more match points leading 9-7. After Jaen saved the first match point in the match tiebreaker with an overhead smash, Tavarez let the second one go awry with an ill-timed double fault. With some time to think of his potentially fatal match mistake as the teams switched sides, Tavarez responded with a thundering ace down the T to give him and Gomez the 10-9 lead. On the next point, Tavarez then finally closed the match with a backhand drop volley winner.

“That was crazy,” said Tavarez after the match. “The first set was pretty chill. We dominated the whole set and we closed it out. And then we were too comfortable and then we lost the second set in the tiebreaker 7-0. That was crazy. I was so frustrated with myself. Then in the super tiebreaker we were down 5-0, which means we lost 12 points in a row. That was insane. Mentally we were so frustrated and out of the match. And then after I broke my racquet, it was amazing. I let go my anger and then we came back. That was amazing.”

“This is tennis, sometimes it is crazy,” said Gomez. “Sometimes you lose 12 points in a row and then you wake up and win the match and do a comeback.”

Watch the full post-match interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RV6yvPXcBY and in Spanish here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_7AeY6Ko4s

En route to the final, Gomez and Tavarez ran through a gauntlet of Vero Beach standouts defeating Boulevard Tennis Club men’s doubles champions Bernardo Feitosa and Mike Hickey in the first round 6-2, 6-0, then Vero Beach Tennis Club member Sam Weinstein and Juan Rincon 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Earlier on Saturday in the semifinals, they beat local Vero Beach teaching pro and half of the defending champion team at this event Ching Wang and his partner James Aronson of New York, N.Y. (whose grandmother lives in Vero Beach) 6-1, 6-4. Povey and Jaen advanced to the final earlier Saturday in another decisive match-tiebreaker, defeating the Port St. Lucie pair of Tyler Rios, the 2023 “King of the Hill” runner-up, and Tomas Martinez by a 6-7(5), 6-1 (10-8) scoreline.

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships traditionally holds wild card events for all of its wild card entry positions. American teenagers Mitchell Lee and Lachlan Gaskell earned main draw and qualifying singles wild cards, respectively last month, which you can read about here https://tennisverobeach.com/index.php/2024/03/03/top-u-s-juniors-lee-gaskell-secure-first-pro-chances-at-mardy-fish-sea-oaks-wild-card-tournament/

The tournament will hold one more wild card tournament, a pre-qualifying tournament for a spot in the tournament, April 17-19. 🎾

Entries on the UTR site here: https://app.utrsports.net/events/221435

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