Re: Official Alex Bogomolov Cheering Thread
Tempers rage in Capitals' loss
Sacramento falls to the New York Sportimes in a match of first-place teams.
The Capitals' Elena Likhovtseva returns the ball to New York's Ashley Harkleroad on Monday night. Likhovtseva won the set 5-4. Sacramento Bee/Florence Low
Who said World TeamTennis was all fun and games? The way Monday's match at Allstate Stadium at Sunrise Mall unfolded, it resembled a serious professional event, not a laid-back exhibition.
After nearly three and a half hours of yelling, bickering and emotion rarely seen in WTT, the New York Sportimes defeated the Capitals 23-19.
When the Capitals won 5-4 (5-0) in men's doubles to cut their deficit to 22-19, the match went into overtime.
New York's David Martin then held serve for the final game.
With the victory, the Sportimes (10-3) clinched the Eastern Conference championship. Meanwhile, the Capitals (9-4) remained a half-game ahead of Springfield (8-4) for first place in the West.
Both teams have secured a berth in this week's playoffs at the Palisades Tennis Club in Newport Beach.
The fourth seed plays Newport Beach at 7 p.m. Thursday, with the winner facing the top seed Saturday. The second and third seeds meet Saturday, and the semifinals are at 3 and 7 p.m. that day. The finals are at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The top seed gets to serve first in three of the five sets, and it chooses the set order. Possibly because of those advantages, Monday's match had heightened tension.
On numerous occasions, New York coach Chuck Adams exhibited stalling tactics, presumably to annoy the Capitals. Between points, he advised his players and handed out towels and water, leading to a hostile reception from the announced crowd of 3,198.
The fans also were upset at Sportimes player Alex Bogomolov Jr., who yelled after winning points and stood up from his chair on nice shots.
"Sit down," the fans screamed.
Finally, during men's doubles, the chair umpire had enough of Adams' behavior.
"Time violation, warning, New York," she said.
The match featured several close line calls, and both sides questioned the chair umpire's competence. At approximately one-third of WTT matches, there is instant replay, and coaches can challenge calls. But because of the high cost of the Hawk-Eye technology and cameras, there was no instant replay Monday.
Although the playoff matches will have instant replay, that fact didn't offer much solace for the Capitals.
On the first serve of the men's singles tiebreaker, Sam Warburg hit an apparent ace, but the chair umpire ruled it out.
"Are you kidding?" teammate Mark Knowles asked, getting out of his chair and staring at the chair umpire.
Said Warburg: "I couldn't have hit it better than that."
Warburg won the point and went ahead 3-0 before Bogomolov Jr. reeled off the next four points. But Warburg won the final two, cutting the Capitals' deficit to 13-10 and avenging his 5-0 loss to Bogomolov Jr. on July 8 in New York. The Capitals won that match 19-18, during which Warburg was the lone Sacramento regular to play because the other three were at Wimbledon. The Sportimes had the same roster as they did Monday.
Like last time, the Sportimes went ahead 5-0 Monday after Ashley Harkleroad and David Martin's easy victory over Knowles and Elena Likhovtseva.