Tennis: Texas' Telles wins John Breaux Cajun Tennis Classic - Photo Gallery Included
Bruce Brown, Special To The Advertiser, Sept. 23, 2018
It helps to know the territory.
Texas Longhorns senior Leonardo Telles played in last year's John Breaux Cajun Tennis Classic, reaching the finals against teammate John Mee, and that experience paid dividends Sunday.
“It did help, for sure,” Telles said. “I was used to the environment — the (TV) cameras, the people here, everything, since I was here before. I was more calm, not as nervous, today.”
That calm demeanor helped Telles withstand challenges from Oklahoma State junior Mathieu Scaglia, as he notched the John Breaux title with a solid 6-4, 6-4 victory.
It was a match that featured an extended finish. Telles was serving for the match at 5-4, 40-30, when rain began falling on Cajun Courts. So the players took a break, personnel dried the courts once the brief shower was over, and play resumed a half-hour later.
When it did, Telles got the one point he needed with Scaglia netting a groundstroke.
“I felt in control for most of the match,” Telles said. “He was taking pace off the ball after 2-0 in the first set. He adjusted, then I adjusted and I was able to serve out the first set.
“I did get a little nervous, up 4-3 and serving in the second (set) in a game that went to deuce (decided when Scaglia netted at game point). We went up and down. I wanted to get to 5-3, so I could play a little looser. Then, even if he held, I'd be up 5-4 and serving for it.”
That's how it played out, with the shower thrown in, although a determined Scaglia had to rally from love-40 to hold to 4-5.
“It was kind of weird, to come back after the rain,” said Scagliao, who had a concluding eight-shot rally with Telles. “I tried to play each shot and be aggressive.
“He hits the ball hard, and I wanted to take pace off the ball, There are several games I can play. It depends on what my opponent does. I tried to get more aggressive toward the end.”