Pun intended, of course. Finals night was full of fiery energy. Division I went to threes sets with Joseph Cliff defeating Sebastian Sanchez (4-6/6-0/6-1). It’s always tough when best friends play each other. Sebastian’s backhand gave him an edge in the first set, but couldn’t keep up the intensity as the match wore on. “I felt like I played my best tennis in the first set but I couldn’t maintain that level and became tired.”
Cliff went on to hold his service games and tried a different approach. “I started to hit to his forehand more and I made less errors.”
There was another three setter over in Division II but in the end Michael Tran prevailed over Nelson Chan 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. In the pool stage, Tran and Chan also went to 3 sets with Tran winning the first set 6-1 before losing the second and coming back in the third set super-tiebreak. “Playing Nelson is always tough. He gets everything back and reads the play well.”
“I decided to play more aggressively and hit through the ball more,” revealed Tran. Back to Division I for Tran!
Sipo Njovu had an easier run over runner-up Robert Moh with a 6-0/6-0 win to take out Division III.
As soon as the season started, Division III took the lead and played matches like wildfire with Robert Moh finishing all 14 matches before the scheduled end date. That’s a feat in itself.
One particular player quickly took the notice of all the other competitors. Sipo Njovu is a silent killer on the court and did not drop more than 3 games in any one match.
Special shoutout to the semifinal mach between Andy Chiem and Michael Tran where both saved match points, served in the rain, and in Tran’s case held his nerve. Three sets. Two-and-a-half-hours. In the rain. It came right down to the wire.
“In the third set, I was up 4-2 before the rain delay and lost a bit of focus at 5-2,” admitted Chiem. “Michael played smarter and attacked my second serve.”
“All for the chicken”, Tran gushed.
A huge shoutout and high-five to Lindy Yee and Wendy Chan for cooking up a storm – the real MVPs of the night. Be honest. What did you enjoy more – watching the matches or the sausage sizzle?!