Back in the win column

NEWPORT BEACH — Marie-Eve Pelletier displayed plenty of positive body language Wednesday night at The Tennis Club Newport Beach.

The Newport Beach Breakers' three-year veteran pumped her fist a number of times during the World Team Tennis match. She and Travis Rettenmaier won in mixed doubles, then she and Anne Keothavong won in women's doubles as the Breakers took control of the match.

Pelletier and her teammates were finally able to smile.

Ending an eight-match losing streak was sweet for the Breakers, who topped Springfield, 21-14. They won their first match since a victory at Kansas City July 8. It doesn't sound like a long time, until one realizes that the whole WTT regular season lasts just 17 days.

Pelletier knows where she plans to go on Thursday.

"We haven't had a chance to spend a lot of time here this year," Pelletier said. "Normally I get to go to Fashion Island and spend some of my money, but this year nope. I've missed that. Maybe [Thursday] I'll get a chance to head over there in the afternoon."

Shopping may be a girl's best friend, but winning wasn't so bad either, even if both Newport Beach (4-9) and Springfield (4-9) were eliminated from the Western Conference playoff race before the match began.

"Obviously it's always good to win," Breakers Coach Trevor Kronemann said. "I think tonight we played like we should have been playing all season. We played loose, and they're into it. We don't want to go out on a losing streak; we want to go out on a winning streak. Maybe we just saved our best tennis for last."

The Breakers were still behind, 10-6, after men's singles and men's doubles. Kronemann said he tried to group his players' sets consecutively Wednesday as they prepare to go back on tour, particularly Lester Cook, who Kronemann said has been battling an abdominal strain.

"We want them to leave Newport with some limbs intact," Kronemann joked.

His team rallied. Pelletier and Rettenmaier defeated Springfield's Carly Gullickson and Greg Jones, 5-2, in mixed doubles as Newport pulled within a single game. The Breakers then took control of the match as Pelletier and Keothavong topped Gullickson and Lilia Osterloh, 5-1, in women's doubles.

"Marie, why are you so good?" a particularly vocal fan shouted out at one point. "I don't understand."

It was easy to understand the Breakers were in control. Keothavong topped Osterloh, again 5-1, in women's singles. The 27-year-old Keothavong was able to hit some big winners against the 33-year-old Osterloh.

The Breakers ended the match on a 15-4 run in the final three sets.

"It felt like we were just running into a roadblock every night for some reason or another," Kronemann said. "We just couldn't break through, and tonight we did. Everybody played great from start to finish, and that's what you need. Look at the ladies. [We were] plus-11 tonight when they were on the court. That's just a huge plus. If you can get that kind of production out of the ladies, you've got a pretty good chance of getting it done.

"It was definitely ladies' night tonight."

The Breakers hope to end the year on a modest two-match winning streak. They finish their season Thursday against the Boston Lobsters. The match has an early start time, 6 p.m., because of travel considerations for Boston.

Winning a second straight match might be a better deal for Pelletier than she'd be able to find at the high-end Fashion Island.

"It feels really good to finally have a win," Pelletier said. "I think we deserve more wins than we've had. We're really giving everything we have, but other teams have been really good. It's not easy, but we're doing our best and happy to have a win.

"The atmosphere was getting a little lower. Now it's going to cheer us up to finish on a good note [Thursday] hopefully."

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World