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Easton Couple Wins Tennis Crown In New Haven

EASTON, Conn. – Easton’s Wendy and Ed Levine won the husband-and-wife championship in the First Niagara Family Classic Thursday at the Connecticut Tennis Center in New Haven. The tournament is run in conjunction with the New Haven Open.

The Levines, who play out of Easton Racquet Club, won 7-5, 6-4 over Diane and Paul Garbaccio of Hardscrabble Club in Brewster, N.Y.

The Levines seemed to be cruising toward an easy first set win after getting two early breaks. Midway through the first set, Ed Levine turned his ankle when he stopped suddenly. After a few moments, play resumed but Levine’s ankle puffed up considerably during the rest of the match.

“He’s pretty tough,’’ Wendy Levine said. “If we would have had to default because of the injury, I’d have been very surprised.”

The New York team rallied to tie the first set at 5-5, but the Levines won the final two games.

“Winning that first set was everything,’’ Ed Levine said. “I thought we had to win that first set if we were going to pull it out.”

He turned the power on his serve after the injury to try to shorten the points. “I was just trying to make the points as easy as possible,’’ he said.

The Levines also got an early break in the second set before the New York team broke back. Ed and Wendy Levine won the final two games, however, to win the championship in their first trip to the finals.

“I was struggling a little bit, but Wendy played really well,’’ Ed Levine said. “We were able to pull it out.”

A few members from Easton Racquet Club and the Levines' teenage daughter made the trip to New Haven to watch the match.

The Levines were one of three teams from Fairfield County tennis clubs to win titles in the tournament, which includes nearly 2,500 teams from eight states. Stamford’s Louise and Jordan Soifer won the 12-and-under division for woman and children, and Danbury's Takao and Tommy Inouye won the parent-and-child 19-and-up title.

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