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Lobsters hang on to top Capitals

MANCHESTER, Mass. -- Despite leaving it open more than just a crack, the Boston Lobsters eventually slammed the door on the Sacramento Capitals.

The Lobsters led 15-5 after three sets but dropped the final two sets of the evening 10-3. The Capitals forced overtime after Ryan Sweeting and Mark Knowles won the men's doubles set, 5-1. Amir Weintraub and Eric Butorac, seeking redemption for the Lobsters in overtime, closed the match behind a booming serve from Weintraub. The Lobsters won the Mylan World TeamTennis event, 19-15.

"We got off to a great start, and that really helped us out at the end when we weren't playing so well," Weintraub said, moments after clinching the match. "I'm happy I was able to close it with my serve. It was a good way to end what was a good day for us."

Weintraub, who has been up and down this season with a 23-23 solo record, started strong and defeated Sweeting 5-2 in the men's singles set.

After storming out to a commanding 2-0 lead, Weintraub let Ryan Sweeting back into the set after a couple of net balls changed momentum. Sweeting won the next two games and broke Weintraub's serve. However, Weintraub -- ranked No. 194 in the world -- used an overpowering backhand to win three consecutive games and take the set.

Weintraub, who isn't known for his powerful serve, had three aces to Sweetings' one. He said that having a few extra days at home helped the Lobsters stay loose. Boston played nine games in 10 days to start the season and are in the middle of a season-long three-game home stand.

"We're already at home for two days, with no traveling, so thats good for us," he said. "We're fresh, and I know that've been traveling a lot during the past week. That's what happened to us at the beginning of the season. Every day, we were at a different place, but now we're home, and that's good for us. The heat didn't matter."

Lobsters coach Bob Schultz was happy with Weintraub's performance and said the 26-year-old has been showing improvement. Weintraub typically handles men's singles duties for the Lobsters when Mark Philippoussis has the match off.

"The last three matches he's played like that. He's seeing it great, moving great, and he looks great out there," Schultz said. "It's huge because men's singles is where you're looking for a close score, so to get a 5-2 is huge for us."

Jill Craybas, in her first season with the Lobsters, took on the Capitals' Olga Govortseva, once a Top 50 player in both singles (No. 35) and doubles (No. 24). Craybas came out strong, broke the Russian's initial serve, and jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

Govortseva, who initially tried to beat Craybas with a powerful serve, pulled back after falling behind early. Relying more on her forehand, Govortseva stole a mid-set game, but Craybas controlled the action and took the set 5-1.

"We came out today, and I think Amir and I were pretty fresh and played well," Craybas said. "They started to pick it up a little more at the end, but in the end it was a good win for us at home."

During mixed doubles, Govortseva continued to struggle as she and Mark Knowles dropped the first two games against the Lobsters' Eric Butorac and Katalin Marosi. Attempting to change the momentum, the Capitals subbed in WTT rookie Megan Moutlon-Levy for Govortseva. The strategy worked, as the Capitals won the first game with the speedy Moulton-Levy on the court.

"I think (Moutlon-Levy) came out pretty fresh, and at that point (Govortseva) was pretty tired," Craybas said. "I think it's always tough to come in once you've been sitting, but (Moutlon-Levy) really did a nice job to come in and pick it up at that point, and they definitely started playing better."

Butorac took control during the next game and painted the edges of the court with a reeled-in forehand to break the Capitals' serve. The Lobsters held serve for the rest of the set, eventually pulling away 5-3.

The Capitals, down 15-5, made some headway during the women's doubles set. Moulton-Levy and Govortseva complemented each other with their different playing styles and jumped out an early 2-0 lead over Craybas and Marosi. The Lobsters duo settled in and won two games, but the Capitals pulled away 5-2.