VETERANS SHOW YOUNGER OPPONENTS HOW IT’S DONE
Three-time Olympian Josh Slack and fellow veteran Bo Soderberg are once again turning back the clock after storming into the semi-finals of the Australian Championships on the Gold Coast.
39-year-old Slack and 38-year-old Soderberg combined to beat New Zealand’s top team, Sam O’Dea and Mike Watson, in an entertaining three-set quarter final at Surfers Paradise.
“We made a pact as Australians that we didn’t want people from another country playing in our semi-finals, and we got the job done,” Slack said.
Slack, who played in the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics, said it’s better to play with Soderberg than against him.
“I always hated playing against him because he is so competitive, but we have very similar offences and it’s working, so we want to keep it going,” he said.
Slack and Soderberg will face the in form Australian team of Josh Court and Damien Schumann in Monday’s semi-final.
Court and Schumann have won the South Australian and Queensland Opens already this year, but Soderberg believes experience is a big advantage.
“It’s a big factor, I think Josh and I have 500, maybe 600 tournaments between us, so we have a little bit of experience of what people are going to do in different situations,” he said.
“So that’s where we take the points when it’s really tight in the set. We’re both very aggressive players on court and want to win, so we sometimes clash but we’re working it out.”
Australia’s top-ranked international team of Chris McHugh and Isaac Kapa had to survive two three-set matches on Sunday to move into Monday’s semi-finals.
In their final pool match they beat Victorian youngsters Justin Schumann and Patrick Tang 15-13 in the third set.
They’ll take on Western Australians Casey Grice and Cole Durant in the semi-finals.
World U23 champions Nikki Laird and Mariafe Artacho del Solar are the only all-Australian combination left in the women’s draw.
They’ll take on New Zealand’s Shaunna Polley and Julie Tilley, who continued their strong opening day form on Sunday.
The second semi-final will be between South Australian Open winners Michaela Vorlova, of the Czech Republic, and Slovakia’s Lucia Michalovicova, and QLD Open winners Sydney’s Christie Jenkins and American Brittany Tiegs.