Texas Wild women too much for Boston

Posted Saturday, Jul. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
Sacramento at Wild 7:30 tonight, Four Seasons Resort and Club, Irving

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Mark Philippousis, at 36 years old, is a shadow of his former self, but he and his blazing serve still cast a long shadow on the tennis court.

The former Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up and two-time Davis Cup champion ultimately couldn’t match the girl power of the Texas Wild in a World TeamTennis match Saturday night at the Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas.

Eugenie Bouchard won twice, including a momentum-shifting doubles victory, and Alex Bogomolov Jr. edged Philippousis in the overtime period of a 22-17 victory over the Boston Lobsters.

Bogomolov came back from 1-2 down in the first and only game of OT with three consecutive service winners.

After pairing with Darija Jurak in a 5-0 women’s doubles victory, Bouchard topped Jill Craybas 5-2 in singles.

“The girls took it home today,” said Bouchard, who is 2-3 in singles matches this season. “We were in a zone [in doubles], trying to be aggressive. I think that momentum carried us through the matches.

“And it was good preparation for singles.”

The Wild was up 21-17 even after Philippousis defeated Bogomolov in men’s singles in the last event of the match. However, the team behind after four games can force overtime by winning the fifth set, which is a continuation of the last event.

The overtime continues until the leading team wins a game and ends the match or the trailing team ties the game count and forces a super tiebreaker (first player to seven points wins).

The Wild improved to 3-2 in the Western Conference. Boston fell to 2-4 in the Eastern Conference.

Texas rebounded from a disappointing loss Thursday to Orange County after defeating the Washington Kastles, the two-time defending champions who hadn’t lost since 2010.

“The most important thing for us was to get the win, no matter how it was done,” Bogomolov said.

Philippousis, nicknamed “The Scud” because of his big serve that helped him earn almost $7 million in career earnings, used it with effect to gain an edge on Bogomolov. The set went to a tiebreaker at 4-4 after each player held serve.

Bogomolov fell back early, trailing 3-1 and faced set point (first to five in the tiebreak) down 4-2. But he fought back to 4-4 before Philippousis, an Australian native, fired the last of his eight aces in the match to capture the set.

“That’s what he’s made his living on, on that serve,” Bogomolov said. “You can’t practice for that. He’s been top 10 in the world and he’s had a career most of us dream about.”

Philippousis teamed with Eric Butorac to coast past Bogomolov and Aisam Qureshi in men’s doubles 5-3. The Lobsters broke Bogomolov and Qureshi once each, and Philippousis produced winning games in each of his service opportunities.

Bouchard and Jurak brought the Wild back after a hard-fought loss in the opening set, mixed doubles, by breaking Craybas and Katalin Marosi twice.

Bouchard worked to win the fifth point of the first game, fully involving herself in a lengthy session of groundstrokes with Marsosi, whose volley caught her side of the net to end the point.

Bouchard jumped out 3-0 on Craybas in singles, but the Californian broke Bouchard twice to extend the set. Bouchard, a 19-year-old Canadian, broke Craybas to win.

“She was real good getting balls back,” Bouchard said. “Every good serve, she got it back and forced me to hit another ball. I missed some of those.”

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