Hiromi Sasano successfully defended the 40 Hard Court title on a beautiful Saturday at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. She played the tournament despite the misgivings of her parents (she said she was glad she didn’t listen to them). She’s 5 1/2 months pregnant, though as she said, it’s not a disease! In a replay of last year’s final, she beat Dina McBride. Last year McBride tore her Achilles tendon in the final (the second time this has happened to her). This year though she lost she left the court on her own two feet, having made a remarkable comeback from surgery. There was a packed crowd on Court One for the final, and they appreciated the tennis. Sasano hit deep, attacked the net when she got McBride on the run and kept McBride off the net. It was a superb performance. Hiromi won 75 61.
Francesca LaO, a former UC Berkeley player, beat Liz Kotz, the only semifinalist not from California. LaO dominated the match with her forehand, hitting winners off the return of serve and hitting forehands at every opportunity. LaO won 62 62
The women’s doubles final was an all San Diego County affair, with Ros Nideffer/Debbie Spence Nasim dominating Debbie Higa/Jami Jones. The start of the match was tight, with several long tough games, but once Ros/Debbie got the lead they ran with it, becoming more aggressive on returns and at the net. They won 62 61. They won the 50 Hard Courts in May.
Jennifer Lyons/Ellie Hammargren won the bronze ball over Jennifer Dawson/Jennifer Rens in straight sets, though the first set was a marathon, won 76 (4), in well over an hour. The second set was 63. The rallies in that match were demanding, this was not one of those matches where points are won in 4 or fewer shots!
Art Hernandez and Neel Grover added the 40 Hard Court doubles crown to the 40 & 45 Indoor titles they won earlier in the year.
Friday night was the player dinner, the second one and it was fantastic…the food was set out in the courtyard by the pool and there was fish, vegetables, prime rib, rice, salad, great leek/apple/cheese scalloped potatoes; appetizers in the Walnut Room including baked brie; wine and drinks (hosted); and tennis ball cookies and other desserts. Tables were set up inside and out with heat lamps scattered outside. This tournament is one that is just unbelievably well run at a gorgeous venue. This year all the courts got new LED lights and the players were really happy with them.
The men’s singles and mixed are on Sunday. Jeff Greenwald is facing top seeded David McNamara. Both had brutal semis which lasted over two hours. Greenwald beat #2 seeded Samuel Schroerlucke 75 in the third and McNamara ousted Ross Duncan 76 in the third. Duncan won the bronze.
In mixed, Sasano/Battistone face defending champions Tracie Currei/Willie Quest.
The father/son is a huge draw and is down to the Bradys vs the Smiths for the gold.
Draws and results: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=188289