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San Marino's Carter, Gealer double up competition in tennis

Tennis: San Marino pair played integral part in Titans' championships this season.

July 12, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
(Tim Berger Staff…)

SAN MARINO — It takes no less than a few moments or a few yards to notice the various differences in style and play between San Marino High junior Robert Carter and sophomore Danny Gealer.

The 6-foot-3 Carter thrives on physicality and power and isn't bashful letting out a "let's go" cheer that's been known to travel from the tennis courts out onto Huntington Drive.

As for the 5-8 Gealer, perhaps there's no one better at quietly hitting corners and edges all over the court with a speed that eventually frustrates most opponents.

Maybe that's why both players combined to form the area's most lethal pair and were unanimously selected as the All-Area Boys' Tennis Doubles Team of the Year by the sports editors and writers of the Pasadena Sun, La Cañada Valley Sun, Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader.

"A lot of good teams have partners who are kind of opposites," Gealer said. "I think we definitely are, but we work well together as a team."

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The duo combined to go 14-2 this past season and proved a valuable cog for a juggernaut Titans team that finished 22-1, won a Rio Hondo League title, a CIF Southern Section Division II crown and finished runner-up to national top-ranked University in the SoCal Regional Finals.

Yet, perhaps it was at the prestigious 113th annual Ojai Valley Junior Tournament, from April 25-27, where Carter and Gealer had their 2013 breakout party.

"We expected to do well because last year we almost got to the semifinals," Carter said. "Once we looked at our draw, I think we knew we had a chance."

Whereas Carter and Gealer fell to Palos Verdes Peninsula's duo of Jake Hoeger and Nick Tong in the quarterfinals of the Ojai Tournament, 7-5, 3-6, 14-12 in 2012, this time around, Carter and Gealer found even more success.

Carter and Gealer rolled through the first two rounds of this year's tournament, dropping a total of three games.

In the round of 16, Carter and Gealer jumped on San Clemente's Ryan Mariano and Bill Whitaker, winning the first set, 6-0, before Mariano and Whitaker launched a second-set assault.

Mariano and Whitaker battled in the second set, at one time pulling within 4-4, before Carter and Gealer broke serve and won the final two games to take the match 6-0, 6-4.

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