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World Team Tennis: Sacramento Can’t Capitalize on Lead, Falls to Boston

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The Sacramento Capitals hosted the Boston Lobsters Wednesday evening in a World Team Tennis match at Sunrise Mall. Prior to the match, Sacramento was in a three-way tie for first place in the Western Conference standings, sharing the spot with the Kansas City Explorers and the St. Louis Aces. Kansas City and St. Louis were playing each other on Wednesday, so it was clear that at least one team would finish the day in second place. As Sacramento and Boston took the court, the announcer told the crowd that St. Louis had won their match. It was Sacramento’s chance to hold onto a share of first place.

The first four of the five events went to tiebreakers and Sacramento led the match 19-17 going into the last event. Boston came from behind and shut down the Capitals 22-21.

The men’s singles event pitted Capital Dusan Vemic against Boston’s Jan-Michael Gambill. Gambill took an early lead, but Vemic fought back and won the first tiebreaker, 5-4. Both men served three aces each during their event and Vemic displayed much higher accuracy with his first serves than Gambill.

The women’s doubles event followed and also went to tiebreaker. Lobsters Mashona Washington and former Capital Coco Vandeweghe defeated Capitals Vania King and Elk Grove native Yasmin Schnack, 5-4. King and Schnack led the event 4-2 but allowed the Boston women to prevail the next three sets.

At this point, both teams were tied 9-9.

Mark Knowles joined Dusan Vemic to take on Boston’s Gambill and Eric Butorac in the men’s doubles event. The men tied the event four times and Sacramento won this tiebreaker 5-4 and led the match 14-13 going into halftime.

After halftime Capital Vania King squared off against Coco Vandeweghe in the women’s singles event. The women also tied the event four times and Vania King finally closed out Vandeweghe to win 5-4. Vandeweghe looked like a wounded warrior at one point with a bandage blocking a bloody nose.

As both teams entered the final mixed doubles event, it looked like Sacramento might "capitalize" on its 19-17 lead and head into its final match with a share of first place. Vandeweghe and Butorac outplayed King and Knowles to win the event 5-2, putting Sacramento in a tie for second place with Kansas City.

Sacramento plays its final regular season game tonight when the last-place Springfield Lasers come to town.

Click on the above photos for a larger view.

More photos from the Sacramento/Boston match are available here.

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