Sven Holcombe makes it a summer trifecta; teams with Dave Coverly to win Ann Arbor City Tennis Tournament doubles title
It’s three up and three down for Sven Holcombe.
The Australia native teamed with Dave Coverly to win the Ann Arbor City Tennis Tournament men’s open doubles title Sunday at the University of Michigan’s Varsity Tennis Center, earning his third silver platter of the summer.
“He hasn’t lost since he’s been in Ann Arbor,” Coverly said of his partner, who is also a teammate on the USTA 5.0 league team based at the Varsity Tennis Center.
That’s only a slight exaggeration. But it’s true that Holcombe hasn’t lost a city tournament match since he moved to town in 2008.
The doubles championship is his second consecutive (he teamed with Victor Petreca last year) and he won a second men’s open singles title on June 28. On July 12, he played in his first mixed doubles tournament and won the open division alongside Marijana Adzic.
(It’s been an award-filled summer for Coverly, too. The 13-year Ann Arbor resident and creator of the one-panel comic Speed Bump won the 2009 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year from the National Cartoonist Society.)
Sunday’s title was well earned. The top-seeded team needed third-set heroics to win a 10 a.m. semifinal and beat Chippewa Racket Club general manager Craig Capelli and partner Todd Schalk 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 in the late afternoon final.
In the semifinal, high school sophomores-to-be Garrett Halpert (Pioneer) and Kevin Renehan (South Lyon) showed the skill that allowed them to be No. 1 prep singles players as freshmen. They led the decisive third set 5-3 before Holcombe and Coverly roared back to complete a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 win.
“We had two really good, fun games,” Holcombe said. “The young guys we played this morning just brought it to us and had a couple match points. We were lucky to get through.”
After splitting the first two sets in the final, the teams were tied 3-3 in the third when a brief downpour sent most spectators scrambling for the parking lot and moved the players inside the Varsity Tennis Center.
But before tournament officials could get the lights turned on over the indoor courts, the rain clouds had moved on and stiff winds dried the outdoor courts. Those left in attendance headed back out to court No. 2 for the conclusion of the match.
Capelli and Schalk rallied from down 5-4 to force the tie-breaker, but a pair of double faults helped Holcombe and Coverly make quick work of the extra session.
“It was a good challenge because both of our opponents played really different styles,” Coverly said. “I think we played a little more solid (in the final). We had fewer errors and served pretty well.”
Check out the Ann Arbor Area Community Tennis Association Web site for results from all flights of the doubles tournament.