With its future Western Conference title match already set, the Texas Wild engaged in a not-so laid-back warmup to end the regular season.
Using Alex Bogomolov’s spirited victory over Sam Querrey, the top American men’s player, and Eugenie Bouchard’s gutsy singles victory over Taylor Townsend, the Wild ended the regular season with a 22-18 victory over the Sacramento Capitals on Wednesday night at the Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas.
The Wild (9-5) will meet the Springfield Lasers in the conference championship at 7:05 Thursday in Missouri. The winner meets either two-time defending champion Washington or Boston on Sunday on the home court of the Eastern Conference champion.
Bouchard got her work in on Wednesday, finishing the night 2-1, including a match-clinching 5-2 win in mixed doubles in the fifth set with Aisam Qureshi over Sacramento’s Mark Knowles and Townsend.
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“We knew that we had to compete today just because we wanted to get the momentum for Thursday,” Bogomolov said. “It was important to compete to play well.”
Sacramento jumped out to a two-set lead with victories in men’s and women’s doubles.
But in the third set, men’s singles, Bogomolov capped a dominating 5-2 victory over Querrey with a serve and volley that energized his Wild teammates and the 1,421 fans in attendance.
“It was a great feeling to have the crowd behind me and to do it for the team was great,” Bogomolov said. “I was seeing the ball good today.”
Bouchard fell down 4-2 before rallying against Townsend, as recently as last season the world’s No. 1 female junior.
After a timeout and talk with Wild coach Brent Haygarth, Bouchard returned and broke back on Townsend and then held serve to force a tiebreaker, which she won with three straight points.
Of the timeout, she said, “It gave me a few extra seconds to breathe and relax. The break helped me. I came back much stronger.”
In men’s doubles, Knowles teamed with Querrey to defeat Bogomolov and Sam Qureshi, 5-3.
In a good exchange between women’s double teams, Taylor Townsend and Megan Moulton-Levy topped Bouchard and Tara Snyder 5-4 in a tiebreaker.
Dealing with adversity is just part of a championship-caliber team, Bouchard said.
“We kept the momentum going,” Bouchard said. “We hate losing. Shows us we can do it anytime. If we have to do it tomorrow, we’ll do it tomorrow.”