JMTA’er Sasha Lebedev went into Panama Bowl unseeded and facing an extremely tough draw. While his first round match was against another unseeded player, whom he beat 6-2, 6-4, each round after that he would have to beat a seed to advance. In the 2nd round he took down 8th seeded Lenhard 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. In the quarterfinals he defeated the #3seed, Valencia 2-6, 6-1, 6-0. And then in the semifinals he bested the #2 seed, Racanelli Sessa 6-3, 6-4 to reach the finals.
Sasha’s final opponent, top seeded Diego Quiroz, dominated his draw on the way to the finals. Diego reached the finals without losing a set. Moreover, in the 8 sets it took him to reach the finals, he lost a total of 14 games (less than 2 games lost per set). However, Diego wouldn’t be able to dominate Sasha like he did the rest of his opponents. After losing the 1st set rather easily, Sasha bared down and broke Diego’s unbeaten set streak by winning the 2nd set in a tiebreaker 7-6 (4). However, Diego was too much for Sasha and ended up winning the 3rd and deciding set 6-2 for a final score of 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-2. Still, Panama Bowl proved to be an amazing tournament for Sasha and his result should boost his ranking for the new year.