Tennis: Huey, Smith fall to No. 3 seeds in Vancouver Open final

Rosy Mina

Posted at Aug 21 2022 01:02 PM

Treat Huey of the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Treat Huey on Instagram.
Treat Huey of the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Treat Huey on Instagram.

MANILA – Treat Huey of the Philippines and John-Patrick Smith of Australia narrowly lost to No. 3 seeds Andre Goransson of Sweden and Ben McLachlan of Japan, 7-6(4), 6-7(7), 9-11, in the final of the Vancouver Open, Saturday in Canada.

The doubles final, held at the Hollyburn Country Club’s Polygon Court, had no service breaks in the first set.

Huey and Smith saved a break point in the third game to be at 2-1, and overcame four break point chances to advance to 6-5 in the 11th game.

At 6-6, the opening set went to a tiebreak, with Huey and Smith securing the first mini break, 4-3, after the Filipino-American hit a forehand down-the-line return of serve winner.

They proceeded to gain three set points, 6-3, after firing a forehand winner, and claimed the set, 7-6(4), after Goransson and McLachlan hit a long forehand.

In the second set, the doubles finalists held serve until the 11th game, where Huey and Smith earned three break point chances. 

On their second opportunity, Huey and Smith broke serve with a backhand volley winner to serve for the match at 6-5.

Goransson and McLachlan fought to stay in the final by breaking back, 6-6, with a backhand approach shot winner.

The second-set tiebreak saw Huey and Smith taking a 3-0 lead before Goransson and McLachlan turned things around to be at 5-3.

The Swedish-Japanese duo served for the set at 6-5, but a forehand error caused them their set point. 

Goransson and McLachlan got their second set point via a backhand winner, and Huey and Smith equalized, 7-7, with an ace.

Serving for the set on their third opportunity, Goransson and McLachlan forced a decider with a forehand winner, 7-6(9).

The 10-point match tiebreak went to 4-1, in favor of Huey and Smith, courtesy of a forehand overhead smash winner by the 36-year-old Filipino doubles specialist. 

They continued to lead at 8-5 and earned a match point at 9-8 after Smith hit a backhand volley winner.

Goransson and McLachlan saved a match point by forcing a return of serve error, then let out a forehand winner to earn their first match point, 10-9.

They clinched the championship, 11-9, via their fourth mini break in the match decider after Smith committed a forehand overhead smash error. 

En route to the final, Huey and Smith fought off a comeback attempt by Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni of India in the semifinals, 6-1, 6-7(2), 10-7.

They saw off Aziz Dougaz of Tunisia and Antoine Escoffier of France, 7-6(4), 6-4, in the quarterfinals and blasted top seeds Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow of the United States in the first round, 7-6(3), 7-5.

Also called the Odlum Brown VanOpen, the Vancouver Open is a category 125 event on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger Tour.

For Wimbledon 2016 gentlemen’s doubles semifinalist Huey, the VanOpen final was his third ATP Challenger Tour final of the season.

He posted title victories at the Arizona Tennis Classic in March with American Denis Kudla and Savannah Challenger in April with compatriot Ruben Gonzales.

The Huey-Gonzales tandem was also victorious in May at the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, where they bagged the men’s doubles gold medal.

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