As we have seen essentially every team in the tournament would be tough to defeat and we knew the same of the Czech Republic. The 6 seeds who had a tough loss 2-1 in their bracket to had two top ranked players in the world in the 40s heading their team.
Dan started off at number 2 singles against the top seeded player in the individual tournament that follows next week. although Dan is a serve and volleyer, he found his baseline game early and went up an early break 3-2, but the Czech was too tough and Dan lost the first set 6-4.
In the second set trailing 1-5, love 40 (one point way from losing the match), Dan came back and pulled out the game…giving us all renewed hope as we have seen other Team USA’s believe in miracles! But not today on the red clay as the Czech prevailed 6-2.
Carsten’s opponent at number 1 singles was not your traditional clay courter. although clearly very comfortable on the slow surface he found every opportunity to come in and volley away winners. this looked to be a good match-up for Carsten who had game points in the first two service games but unfortunately his opponent was too tough and won the set 6-1. In the second set, down 2-0, Carsten broke back but that did not diffuse the Czech opponent as he also won the second set 6-1 with the last few games played in a consistent rainfall. Since the courts are clay they can absorb the water (and make the court even slower!) to a point to allow play to continue.
Down 2-0 with now heavier rains the tournament officials called our match and the doubles featuring Willie and me were not played.
After a few hour rain delay, they resumed the matches in afternoon. We watched Team USA 45s Men win a tight one against Italy in the semis. Tied 1-1 going into the doubles, we had a small group fighting the wind and cold temperatures late into the night cheering home our team to victory! Tarango and Tabares won a tight one in three sets. To the finals!