Dharme repeats in Greenfield tennis tourney
Menomonee Falls resident overcame four match points to win title
Greenfield — It's simply becoming old habit for Chandrakant Dharme.
It seems no matter where he plays or who he competes against, the Menomonee Falls resident is quite comfortable when he steps onto the court for the Greenfield Parks and Recreation adult tennis tournament.
For the third consecutive year, Dharme found himself in the title match at Saturday's fourth annual tournament.
And for the second straight year, he captured the championship.
"I'm very happy," said Dharme, who was exhausted after winning three matches on a day in which temperatures reached the upper 80s at the Greenfield High School courts. "It feels really good to win again."
However, he almost didn't.
Down a set and facing two match points at 5-3 in the second set of the championship match against 29-year-old Geromy Yang of Milwaukee, Dharme picked up the intensity, saved them both and took the game.
At 5-4, Yang again had a chance to claim the title, but Dharme showed why he was the reigning champion. With two more match points against him, Dharme was not rattled as he won both of them and went on to take the set, 7-5, to even the match.
"I started too slow," Dharme said. "It took time to read his game. But I started concentrating on one point at a time and was gaining confidence as we went on. I just wanted to put pressure on him."
He did just that in the 10-point third set super-tiebreaker.
The 36-year-old jumped out to a 5-1 lead before Yang made a brief rally, but it was too late as Dharme won, 10-7.
"I got going right away," said Yang, who gave Dharme fits most of the match with his fine net game. "But I just didn't finish. I definitely want a rematch next year."
Eric Groncki, the only Greenfield resident in the eight-person field, didn't get his long-awaited rematch with Dharme.
Groncki, who defeated Dharme for the 2008 championship, advanced to the title match last year. But in that tournament, which was played at Whitnall High School, Dharme got the best of Groncki.
While the bracket shaped up nicely for the two to meet again, Yang, a newcomer to the tournament, erased that possibility when he defeated Groncki in come-from-behind fashion, 3-6, 7-5, 10-8, in the first round.
"It was very close, as it was back and forth the entire match," Groncki, 35, said. "I had a 5-3 lead in the second set. I just couldn't close the door. It would have been nice to have a rematch with Chandra, but this year's tournament was very competitive."
Groncki regained his composure to win his next two matches, taking the consolation championship.
Tournament participation dropped from 17 in 2009 to eight this year, but Dharme was still impressed with the level of play and wants to go for another title.
"It's nice to win, and I'll be back to go for number three," he said.
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