The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

July 19, 2013

Bar, Frost advance to USTA doubles final

Some players are just a natural fit as teammates. The notion seems to apply to Israel’s Dekel Bar and Leon Frost, who are competing as a doubles team for the first time this year.

Bar and Frost knocked off the second-seeded team of Darian King and Nick Chappell 6-3, 7-6 (2) in the doubles semifinals of the USTA Freeman $10,000 Men’s Futures tournament on Thursday at Millennium Tennis and Fitness Club. The win places Bar and Frost in the doubles finals at 5:30 p.m. today against top-seeded Daniel Garza and Roberto Maytin, who defeated Jared Donaldson and Fares Ghasya 6-1, 6-3 Thursday.

“We played five tournaments at the beginning of last year in Australia,” Frost said. “We started really clicking toward the end of those tournaments. We hadn’t been able to play together this year because I was injured.

“His strengths complement my strengths, and I complement his. I’m a bit slow, and he’s a bit flashy so it works well. We play well together.”

Bar and Frost teamed to beat King and Chappell despite not having the same type of success in singles. Chappell defeated Bar 6-3, 6-2 in the second round of the singles main draw Thursday morning. King, the top seed in singles, eliminated Frost in the first round on Wednesday.

“We got a little revenge,” Bar said. “It’s about chemistry in doubles. It’s very different than singles.”

King and Chappell led the second set 6-5 and were in position to force a third. However, Bar and Frost won the next two games and then won the tiebreaker.

“It was close,” Bar said. “We managed to take it to sudden death. And then we were able to get a good start in the tiebreaker.”

Finishing the match in two sets was important for Bar and Frost, because the afternoon heat was bearing down. Bar said it was taking a toll as he also played a singles match earlier in the day.

“In the second set, I was feeling it,” he said. “It was tough, but it was doubles so you don’t run too much. If it had been another singles, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

Bar and Frost enter today’s finals without losing a set in their first three doubles matches.

“I think we’ll have to play a little better than we did today,” Frost said. “We got a good chance. We just got to make sure we’re confident at the right times and go for it.”

King and Chappell were eliminated as a team, but both remain alive in singles.

King, who is ranked 427th in the world, defeated Jared Hiltzik of the United States 6-2, 7-5 Thursday to advance to the singles quarterfinals. The Barbados native will face Sahak Bazrganian today in a match scheduled to start no earlier than 11 a.m. King is eying the tournament title after finishing runner-up in Joplin last year.

“This time, I’m pretty much going for it,” King said. “I’m putting it all on the court.”

Chappell, who was the 2012 Mountain West Freshman of the Year for TCU, will face Brazil’s Alex Blumenberg today in the quarterfinals.

The other two singles quarterfinal matches will pair Jacob Coenraad De Klerk against Garza, and Alexander Sarkissian against Michael Shabaz.

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