Good vibrations and a positive outlook are key strategies for longtime friends Nathan Pasha (USA) and Evan King (USA), who together secured the ACT Claycourt International #1 2017 doubles title, defeating Aussies Maverick Banes (QLD) and Gavin Van Peperzeel (QLD) 4-6, 6-3, 10-4.
“We keep it light out there” King said. “We talk about American football, we talk about rap [so] there was good vibes and a lot of positivity out there.
“We’ve known each other for a long time and we feed off each other’s energy. We can joke around and still keep it serious when the moment is right.”
The Australian duo started the match strong taking the first set 4-6. However Pasha and King found their groove in the second, taking the set 6-3.
“I was a little irritated that we lost the first [set], I think we could have won it,” said King. “But then we just kind of got on a role in the second.”
The Americans came out firing at tiebreak, exercising a 5-1 lead at change of ends.
“I think it helped that we started the breaker with the wind in our favor,” King continued. “It makes it easier to serve and you can get points with the wind.
“Overall, we played well. We beat some good teams this week, we almost lost first round but we ended up finding a way through so I’m happy.”
The pair have known each other for many years off and on the tennis court, their communication at an all-time high in todays doubles final in Lyneham.
“He [Pasha] made some unbelievable calls on my serve to get us out of trouble. And I’d like to say that I made some pretty good calls on his, and then we executed them and kind of fed off that momentum because we got all pumped up.”
The winners were comfortable with the surface throughout the week, happy with the facility and early Autumn Canberra conditions.
“It’s my first win on red clay, because in America we have green clay [Har Tru],” King said. “So it’s my first time on red clay in a while and it was awesome, I like it better than green clay.”
“The facility is amazing and the gym is unbelievable. You’ve got your hard courts, you’ve got your clay, you’ve got the artificial grass courts and you’ve got a tone of space.”
At tournaments end, Pasha will have competed in all five Canberra Pro Tour events, also competing in the 2016 Apis Canberra International and 2017 East Hotel Canberra Challenger.
“It’s very easy to stay here for two weeks,” he said. “I’m going to Indonesia after this, and it’s not a bad place to be, but I would rather be somewhere like here [Canberra], as it’s a bit more refreshing when you’re on the road. It’s a great place to have a tournament for 2 weeks.”
Pasha and King will play doubles together again and will compete in singles next week in ACT Claycourt International #2.
“It always feels good when you win a tournament, said Pasha. “And the extra court time if really valuable.”
“Obviously when we go onto court we want to win, but we don’t get stressed out about the result or the score.”
Saturday marks the ACT Claycourt International singles semi finals with remaining top seeds Marc Polmans (VIC) and Omar Jasika (VIC) preparing for a key capital clash. Banes will continue his singles campaign tomorrow against fourth seed Blake Mott (NSW).
The quartet will pave the way to an all-Australian singles final on Sunday 19 March.
Play starts at 11am and entry is free.