(SHENZHEN, CHINA) – Phil Anderson of Halifax and Christiaan Lee-Daigle of Tecumseh, Ont., scored a huge upset in men’s doubles at the Summer Universiade’s tennis tournament on Monday afternoon when they defeated the second-seeded pair of Weerapat Doakmaiklee and Kittiphong Wachiramanowong from Thailand.
The un-seeded Canadians, who had never played together before Sunday when they downed a pair from Indonesia in straight sets in their opener, prevailed 6-3, 4-6 and 8-6 in the second round, an affair that lasted two hours and 12 minutes.
The win moves the Canucks into Thursday’s quarter-finals, where they will face David Estruch and Pablo Manuel Gimenez of Spain, also un-seeded.
It was quite the day on the court for Anderson, a 21-year-old University of New Mexico student, who teamed up with Lee-Daigle only a few hours after a first-round loss in singles (2-6, 6-2, 5-7) that spread over three hours and eight minutes.
“This is easily the biggest win of both our careers in doubles,” said Anderson, an All-Mountain West Conference doubles player each of the past two years in the NCAA. “Both of these guys have ATP singles rankings. They’re very good players.”
Against their rivals from Thailand, Anderson and Lee-Daigle took the first set in only 29 minutes but lost the second in 46 minutes. In the third and decisive game, the Canadians jumped out to an early 3-0 lead but Anderson was broken twice and all of a sudden it was 6-5 Thailand, with Anderson having to hold his serve for the first time in the set.
“I had yet to hold my serve so that was pretty crazy, thinking that I was serving to keep us in the match,” said Anderson. “We played a huge game to stay alive. Chris hit some amazing shots down the stretch. We’re really clicking together so far.”
“It’s really easy to play with Phil. He’s like a personal coach on the court,” said Lee-Daigle, a 21-year-old student at the Queens University of Charlotte, who was named Conference of the Carolinas player of the year this past season on the NCAA Division II circuit. “We’re having lots of fun. I can’t wait for our next match.”
A third Canadian was in action on the tennis court on Monday. Carl Ho of Richmond, B.C., was eliminated 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the singles tourney by Phillip Arndt of the USA.
Both Ho and Anderson are relegated to the consolation side of the draw in singles.