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Senior Tennis Teams Heartbreaking Loss in Epic Grand Final

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 by Maccabi VIC

Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes. –Benjamin Disraeli

The massive Grade 3 grandfinal was played yesterday at Dendy Park against a Carmelite side packed with ex State grade players. 

All the four singles players took the court and after the first 45 minutes I honestly thought that the contest would be over in another half hour. All four Maccabi players lost their first set and it looked like the gruelling final series had taken its toll. Jarred Krowitz at number 3 was playing an ex grade 1 player who was bludgeoning the ball and despite playing with great skill and touch was outgunned 2-6 2-6.  Steven Gostin at 4 looked to have the easy game. He played a guy that looked a lot older with a massive bandage around his calf. Then the word got out that this guy was an ex state grade player. He was able to hit the ball with pinpoint accuracy at varying speeds and displayed awesome guile and perfect shot selection. Steven fought like the tiger he is and was coming back hard in the second set eventually going down 0-6 3-6.
The two Maccabi superstars Asaf Nagar and Assaf Drori showing amazing pluck knew it was now or never. The concentration was amazing and their eyes bore that unmistakeable steely Israeli glint of absolute determination. They were single handedly willing themselves back into the contest knowing what was at stake. They both levelled their match at one set all and went on to win the third set in hot sunny conditions. Truly inspiring !!!
The grand-final is a gruelling contest with 4 doubles games to follow . Maccabi were hoping to be 2-2 after the singles and to bring on fresh legs to pair the  “ super Asafs  “. The Carmelite team kept their original four players and I felt that they might tire .  We were 2-2 but 2 sets down.
Joel Fredman partnered Asaf Nagar and it was clear why this pair had not lost together all finals series. Joel was unbelievable playing simple crisp serve volley doubles with no errors. Hitting volley winners with regular monotony and penetrating with smart well placed returns he was on fire. Asaf tired a little in the heat and after his torrid singles match. However, when the match had to be won the champion served some massive serves as the boys took the deciding third set 7-6. 
Naveh Dvir-Ovadia joined Assaf Drori as they took on two big hitters who had recent grade 1 experience. This was a fast power packed rubber which took on extra meaning when our boys levelled at 1 set apiece knowing that the deciding set could well decide the whole day. The strength of Naveh was nullifying their monsters whilst Drori provided the class. The boys were up a break mid way through the last set and faded to lose the set and rubber 4-6. It was a chance that went missing. Never mind it was 3-3 with the last 2 rubbers to play.
Maccabi needed to win them both and were confident. Nobody knew how the older opposition would fare after 4.5 hours playing non stop in the heat.
Joel and Asaf Nagar took the first set and were up a break when they heard that Assaf Drori and Naveh had lost the adjoining rubber. Heartbreaking that after 6.5 hours of neck and neck competition we had been pipped at the post. Worthy grand finalists and great blokes and so well behaved. This day advanced the Maccabi name in the tennis community .  Lets keep this momentum.

Grade 3 Asaf Nagar

3-8-79 Lost Carmelite 4-11-96
Asaf Nagar/Joel Fredman  7-6 4-6 7-6 and  were  7-5 3-1
Assaf Drori/Naveh Dvir-Ovadia 4-6 6-4 4-6 and 0-6 2-6
Asaf Nagar  2-6 6-1 6-3
Assaf Drori  2-6 6-1 6-3

Jarred Krowitz 2-6 2-6

 Steven Gostin 0-6 3-6


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