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Third Time’s a Charm for Florida Men

October 6, 2008 09:01 AM
By Blair Thompson, USTA.com


The adult beverages were cracked and the men’s 3.0 team from Florida’s Eagle Harbor Tennis Club was already toasting a 2006 Florida section title and dreaming of their first trip to a USTA League presented by Chrysler National Championship.

With singles player Brent Bergstrom up a set and 5-2 in the second, the team was just one game away from making those dreams come true. Unfortunately for Eagle Harbor, that game never came as Bergstrom lost the second set 7-6 and then a tight match tiebreaker.

The team laughs now about the premature celebration and as captain John Tabor says with a smile: “From now on, when we have guys up 5-2 in a set, we say don’t pull a Bergstrom.”

In 2007, as Yogi Berra would say, it was almost déjà vu all over again as Tabor’s team, from Fleming Island, Fla., just south of Jacksonville, also made it to the section championships and once more came down to the last match on the last day.

This time it was up to doubles partners Jim Pinkerman and Jim Malloy. They lost the first set but looked like they had reversed the Eagle Harbor curse by coming back from a 5-2 second set deficit to even the match. But serving at 8-9 in the third set, Pinkerman double-faulted to lose the match and keep the beverages on ice.

This year proved that three really was the charm for the Eagle Harbor squad, along with bringing Pinkerman some redemption as it was he and partner Tom Tossavainen’s win in doubles that was the clincher for the team to make its first trip to the national championships in Tucson.

“It crossed my mind that we might never make it to nationals. But it feels fantastic and we’re enjoying every minute of it,” said Pinkerman.

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