“They’re improving,” Stout said, “practically each day.”
Gehring’s still the more accomplished player and, even Gillett admits, when they play singles now, Gehring tends to win 6-2 or 6-3. But they’ve become fast and best friends and, having just become doubles partner in the last few weeks, they can feel how much better they’re getting together.
“If we come out, if we can get a pretty good roll going, we don’t lose many games,” Gillett said. “If we can just get on a roll, I think we can win it all.”
Recently, the duo received a few pointers from former Sooner coaches Paul Lockwood and Mark Johnson. That opened their eyes to increased on-court communication and a little more thoughtfulness about strategy.
They’ve always been well suited as partners.
“(Max) would have placed in two singles. He is no slouch up there by any means. His net play, he kind of makes a difference,” Stout said. “Russ is good at the net, but Max is intimidating. So you have Russ behind him, setting him up, and Max picking them off.”
Gehring likes their chances.
“I think if we just stay focused and just play our tennis and don’t get involved in all the mind games tennis can play on you and just play every point as a new point … I think our best tennis is ahead of us.”
They have anywhere from two to five matches today and Saturday to prove it.
Follow me @clayhorning
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