The San Diego Aviators overcame an early 10-6 deficit and held off a late comeback by the Texas Wild for a 21-18 victory in a battle for the top spot in the Western Conference on Sunday night at Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas.
The Avaitors (4-2) took over the conference lead by a 1/2 game over the Wild (4-3). The loss was Texas’ second in as many nights in their fourth match in as many days.
“We played four matches in four days, and the last two were very difficult,” Bogomolov said. “We’ve got a day off. We’ve just got to regroup and come back and put some more wins together.”
The Wild had a chance to win after rallying late when it went up 4-2 in men’s doubles in the final set with Alex Bogomolov Jr. serving, but San Diego came up with a break and then tied it at 4-4 to force a tiebreaker. The Aviators’ Somdev Devvarman and Raven Klassen won the tiebreaker 5-1 to seal the San Diego victory.
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The Wild got off to a fast start with a 5-3 victory in the night’s opening set with Aisam Qureshi and Anabel Medina Garrigues beating San Diego’s Kveta Peschke and Raven Klaasen. Garrigues and Qureshi broke the set open when Garrigues ripped a forehand down the alley on the deciding point for a 4-3 lead, and Qureshi then took over at the net to spark a break of Peschke’s serve for the win.
Garrigues and Darija Jurak continued the surge in the second set with a break of marquee player Daniela Hantuchova in the opening game and went on to win the set 5-3 to give the Wild a 10-6 advantage.
The match began to slip away when Bogomolov had to leave the court at 3-3 in the third set of a men’s singles match against Devvarman. Bogomolov withdrew because he said he felt a pull in his groin and wanted to play it safe. Qureshi, primarily a doubles specialist, replaced Bogomolov, and Devvarman won the the next two games to seal the set and pull the Aviators within 13-11 heading into women’s singles.
Hantuchova, ranked No. 32 in the WTA with a career high of No. 5, played like one of the top singles players in the world. She got the Aviators back in the hunt with a 5-1 victory over Garrigues to put San Diego up 16-14 going into the final set.
In other action, James Blake led the Springfield Lasers (3-3) to a 21-13 rout of Andy Roddick and the Austin Aces (2-4) in a battle to stay out of the Western Conference basement. In the Eastern Conference, the Washington Kastles cruised past the Philadelphia Freedoms 23-14.