Cabal and Farah create men’s doubles history for Colombia

first_imgBy Pritha SarkarLONDON, England (Reuters) – Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah became the first Colombians to win a Grand Slam men’s doubles title when they beat France’s Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(6), 6-7(5), 6-3 in a near five-hour epic at Wimbledon yesterday.Farah punched away a backhand volley winner on match point before promptly collapsing to the ground in triumph.“I’m speechless. I kept watching the watch through the first and second sets. I’m like: ‘We finished the second set and it’s been two hours and 15 minutes play. This is ridiculous. How long is this?’” said Farah.“From there on, we just kept battling. Once we lost the fourth set … I put my legs up. I got a rub from my physio.“We come back to the court, I had a second wind. I felt so good again. I feel like we played unreal that (fifth) set.”Cabal, who will rise to the top of the doubles rankings when the new list is released tomorrow, added: “We just won Wimbledon for Colombia. It’s huge for our country. The moment we’re living right now is just crazy.”The defeat capped a painful evening for Mahut as he rolled around the turf early on in the contest after taking a blow to his eye. For a few minutes, it was uncertain if the Frenchman would be able to continue as he was helped to his courtside chair before medics examined the injury and checked his vision.He came back on court after taking a medical time-out and did not appear to suffer any lingering after-effects as he was soon up a set.Mahut, who had won the full complement of Grand Slam men’s doubles titles with Pierre-Hugues Herbert, before being dumped by his fellow Frenchman earlier this year, looked like he could be walking off with his second Wimbledon crown as he and Roger-Vasselin produced some high-quality winners to level the match at two sets all.But another brutal body blow in the eighth game of the decider left Mahut writhing in pain on the green turf and Cabal and Farah showed little sympathy as they pounced to break for a 5-3 lead.Mahut is no stranger to Wimbledon marathons having come off second best in the longest ever Grand Slam singles match, an 11-hour five-minute first-round tussle won by American John Isner in 2010.While the Colombians clambered up the stands to celebrate with their nearest and dearest, Mahut consoled Roger-Vasselin who was crying into his towel as he struggled to come to terms with the near miss.At four hours 57 minutes, it fell just four minutes short of the longest ever men’s doubles final won by John McEnroe and Michael Stich in 1992.last_img read more

Women of Troy cap perfect homestand

first_imgSenior Maria Sanchez had seen Aeriel Ellis before. As a matter of fact, they’ve sparred against each other numerous times over the last ten years.This time, however, Sanchez would walk away with not one, but two victories against her rival. Her play would help lead the Women of Troy to a 6-1 victory over No. 20 Texas.“There are always subplots to these things,” said USC coach Richard Gallien. “They both know each other, [they’re] both from Northern California, and these things go back a long way. I’m not saying they have a grudge against each other, but it is a hairier sort of deal.” Paired up with freshman Kaitlin Christian, Sanchez staved off a late rally from Ellis and her partner Krista Damico to steal the doubles match early on in the Sunday afternoon showdown with the Longhorns. The Ellis/D’Amico tandem roared back after falling into a 5-0 hole in the match’s only set, only to be beaten 8-6 when Sanchez and Christian finally reclaimed the momentum late in the game. In her singles game, the USC captain overpowered the diminutive Ellis with her strong serve and mighty forehand, winning the only two sets of the match. Despite her impressive display, victory didn’t come at an easy cost for the nation’s No. 3-ranked player, as Ellis continued to battle back throughout the match, taking Sanchez to the brink in the second set before bowing out in a 6-3, 7-5 defeat. Sophomore Danielle Lao stepped up Sunday afternoon, matching Sanchez’s two wins on the day, and dispatching what could be Texas’ most talented player in Krista Damico. Unlike the Longhorn’s volatile junior, Lao played under control and with great pace all afternoon, keeping Damico off balance with low balls to counter her powerful strikes and pressuring her into a plethora of unforced errors.After teaming with senior Lyndsay Kinstler in a dominant 8-2 win over Texas’ No. 3 doubles squad of Juliana Gajic and Caroline Larsson, Lao was able to beat back a Damico rally to take the first set, then needed a furious rally to secure the second set, winning the last four games of the match to close out a 6-3, 6-4 win.“She is a really tough player,” Lao said. “I was down 4-3 and needed to step up and execute, especially on her serve, I really focused and concentrated the last three games and got the win.”Another tough day for junior Allison Ramos once again tested her resiliency and toughness as she had to play a physically imposing opponent for the second game in a row. Similar to her defeat against Loreto Alonso of USF, Ramos had difficulty returning the monstrous serve of senior Maggie Mello and that proved to be the difference in a hotly-contested match that ended in an intense, pressure-filled tiebreaker. Facing adversity for one of the few times this year, senior Cristala Andrews battled back against the Longhorns’ Cierra Gaytan-Leach to steal a victory, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.In another three-set duel, Christian secured her second win of the day beating Gajic 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 in the fourth singles game, while sophomore Valeria Pulido recovered from her doubles defeat earlier to dominate Texas freshman Elizabeth Begley 6-0, 6-1.On the day, the Women of Troy would win seven of nine matches.With an extremely talented UCLA team ahead, this tune-up against Texas helps build momentum and give the team a winning air heading into the meat of their schedule. “We are all feeling very confident and feel we’re in a very good place right now,” Lao said. “It’s all about balance especially in tennis and right now we are really hungry and working hard to compete. We just want it so bad and it’s showing in the results.”last_img read more