2017-08-26 12:57:00 CEST
Nick and Phil comeback from nowhere to stun Saxton/Schalk
They were one set down and trailing 19-15 in the second set but somehow Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser battled back to claim a spot in Sunday’s semifinals with an epic victory over Canada’s Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk.
In the longest match of the tournament so far, the Gstaad Major champions fought off four Canadian match points to book a meeting with either Poland or Germany on the tournament’s final day.
Was it skill or hard work that got them back in it? Actually, it was neither – it was luck, according to the experienced duo.
“We got lucky but we’ll take it,” admitted Lucena after the 21-23, 25-23, 15-12 win. “Any time your opponent is up like that 99 per cent of the time you lose. We know we’re capable of scoring points and we managed to do that and then carry it over into the third set.”
Having struggled with jetlag over the past few days since touching down in Germany, the Americans now hope they can continue from where they left off in their semifinal tomorrow.
“It gives us a little momentum for sure,” said 2008 Olympic champion Dalhausser. “The timing of our win was perhaps a little fortunate but any time you face adversity it toughens you up a bit so it can’t hurt going into Sunday.
“We’ve beaten a good team but now we’ll relax and get ready for tomorrow.”
There were no words of comfort for the frustrated Canadians who looked on course to grab a second successive appearance in a World Tour Finals semifinal until Nick and Phil fought back.
“I’m very disappointed, we gave it to them,” said a dejected Schalk. “We had complete control in the second set and just made some mental errors.
“It’s super frustrating, this should have been our game. We had our opportunities to win the match and that’s going to stink for a while.”
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