By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
Tucson, Ariz. – The Mid-Atlantic 7.0 team from Rockville, Md., won an epic match tiebreak in the deciding match to capture an exciting 2-1 semifinal victory over the Caribbean Section 7.0 team to advance to the 7.0 finals of the USTA League Mixed Doubles National Championships.
With the team match score tied 1-1, Mid-Atlantic’s Tung Do and Kim Tolbert dropped the first set of their No. 1 doubles match against Vanessa Beniquez and Miguel Soria but put together an incredible comeback that resulted in a thrilling 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (22) victory.
After winning the 46-point match tiebreak, Do and Tolbert jumped up and down as they celebrated on Court No. 1 with their teammates.
"We had to fight for every point. It was very emotional. Everyone was very excited on every single point," said Tolbert, who is three months pregnant. "It was very exhilarating when we finally closed out the match. It was one of the best feelings in the world. It was fantastic."
When asked how it felt to reach the 7.0 finals, Tolbert said, "I’ve played tennis for years, and this is one of the most rewarding things… to get Nationals and to compete with other fantastic players. I love it," she said. "We’re going to have to stay consistent and not underestimate anybody. Everyone came here to win."
Mid-Atlantic will face Northern California in Sunday’s 7.0 final at 8 a.m. (MST). The Northern California Section team from Folsom, Calif., scored straight-set victories in the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles positions to defeat the Southwest Section, 2-1, to advance to the final.
7.0 Semifinal Results:
Northern California def. Southwest, 2-1
No. 1 Doubles: Tony Curso / Angela McKee (Northern California) def. Jagadish Dandu / Irene Hudson (Southwest), 6-1, 6-0
No. 2 Doubles: Jose Lopez / Vianka Sanchez (Southwest) def. David Barzaga / Melissa Sloan (Northern California), 1-6, 6-1, 1-0 (7)
No. 3 Doubles: Kris Jordan / Christina Parsons (Northern California) def. Harsh Tayal / Blanca Soria (Southwest), 7-5, 6-4
Mid-Atlantic def. Caribbean, 2-1
No. 1 Doubles: Tung Do / Kim Tolbert (Mid-Atlantic) def. Vanessa Beniquez / Miguel Suria (Caribbean), 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (22)
No. 2 Doubles: Giselle Vidal / Jose Javier Ramos Figueroa (Caribbean) def. Raymond Canaria / Alma Canaria (Mid-Atlantic), 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (7)
No. 3 Doubles: Terry Childs / Kevin Carroll (Mid-Atlantic) def. Tatiana Rivera / Hector Vega (Caribbean), 6-2, 7-6
9.0 Mixed Doubles Set
In the 9.0 Mixed Doubles semifinals, which will take place at 8 a.m. (MST) on Sunday, Texas will play Eastern and Mid-Atlantic will face Southern California.
The 9.0 Mixed Doubles Championship Final and Third Place match will be played at 10 a.m. (MST).
Final 9.0 Mixed Doubles Standings:
Texas (Houston, Texas), 4-0
Southern (Charleston, S.C.), 3-1
Midwest (Stow, Ohio), 2-2
Florida (South Miami Dade, Fla.), 1-3
Northern California (Danville, Calif.), 0-4
Eastern (Rye, N.Y.), 4-0
Southern California (Upland, Calif.), 3-1
Middle States (Skillman, N.J.), 2-2
Northern (Minneapolis, Minn.), 1-3
New England (Manchester, N.H.), 0-4
Mid-Atlantic (Annapolis, Md.), 4-0
Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Wash.), 3-1
Intermountain (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2-2
Southwest (Phoenix, Ariz.), 1-3
Hawaii (Maui, Hawaii), 0-4
2.5 Mixed Doubles Standings:
Caribbean (San Lorenzo, P.R.), 4-0
Northern California (Oakland, Calif.), 3-1
Mid-Atlantic (Columbia, Md.), 2-2
Florida (Ocala, Fla.), 2-2
Southern (Mandeville, La.), 1-3
Midwest (Grosse Pointe, Mich.), 0-4