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Sweet Redemption for Maccabi in Historic Pennant Win

Posted: 07-Sep-2015 by Tennis

Grade 3 Premiers L to R: Asaf Nagar (captain), Assaf Drori, Arthur Kaganovitch, Jarred Krowitz, Joel Fredman and Robert Minc.

Maccabi's top tennis team were victorious in the Grand Final of Tennis Victoria's Winter Pennant Grade 3 competition on Saturday. This marked the culmination of a highly successful year, in which the team finished the home and away season at the top of the ladder.  The team, captained by experienced leader and Club Coach Asaf Nagar, defeated East Malvern, MCC, Wellington and finally Grace Park on the way to claiming the Pennant.

The Pennant is believed to be just the second ever Pennant in the Club's history, at any level, in the Tennis Victoria Winter Pennant competition.

Further Coverage

Drori Reflects on Pennant Victory

Win 'Special' for Captain Nagar

Club Revels in Historic Pennant

Young Star Kaganovitch On the Rise

Semi Final

The manner in which the victory was completed adds to the sense of achievement. Maccabi knew that Grace Park was waiting in the Grand Final but did not have an assured place in the Grand Final themselves. Due to persistent rain last weekend, Maccabi was in a strong position in its semi final against Wellington but had been prevented from completing all matches.

Consequently, Maccabi knew that they still needed to win one singles' rubber and one more set against Wellington before its passage to the Grand Final could be confirmed. Further rain early on Saturday morning again prevented the resumption of the semi final and the fixture even had to be moved from our Home courts to Dendy Park, in order that the Grand Final would not be delayed. Eventually, they were able to overcome Wellington in a close encounter, with number 1 player Assaf Drori winning the vital rubber.

Grand Final

In an outstanding team display, Maccabi comprehensively defeated Grace Park.

Singles:

Drori played with his usual workmanlike effort, making few errors and displaying terrific variety. He played a big, flat-hitting opponent and proved to be too steady. Captain Nagar had a tough first set against another heavy hitter but prevailed after some nice passing shots. Nagar won comfortably in the end, upping the ante in the second set and playing a more aggressive brand of tennis. Krowitz had game point opportunities in the first set but was just unable to capitalise against a strong opponent. Kaganovitch combined great shotmaking, decision making and power on the way to another impressive singles victory for the young talent. After the four singles' rubbers, Maccabi was ahead 3 rubbers to 1 but with potentially four doubles' rubbers to follow.

Doubles:

Kaganovitch and Fredman combined well and just edged their opponents to win the first set in a tiebreak. This pairing also enabled Maccabi the luxury of playing Drori and Nagar together in doubles, who win in straight sets. The latter are a difficult proposition for any opposition at this level. Last year, in pressure matches, Maccabi were often forced to separate Drori and Nagar in order to be more competitive in both doubles' rubbers.

Conclusion

The Pennant Grand Final victory is made even sweeter as the team is largely the same as that which lost in the Grand Final last year, boosted by the inclusion of Kaganovitch and Robert Minc, the latter missing the finals through injury.

The team now is promoted automatically to Grade 2, a further step up in the level of play. With further improvement to come from Kaganovitch’s game, Nagar and Drori both proven Grade 1 players, Maccabi is confident of having a team confident in Grade 2. 

Grade 3 Grand Final: Maccabi 4-9-60 def Grace Park 1-2-38

Assaf Drori 6-4 6-3

Asaf Nagar 6-4 6-2

Jarred Krowitz 4-6 1-6

Arthur Kaganovitch 6-2 6-2

Assaf Drori/Asaf Nagar 6-3 6-0

Joel Fredman/Arthur Kaganovitch 7-6

 
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