Jennifer Dawson, Erika Smith and Alissa Finerman Take First Titles in La Jolla

Jennifer Dawson won her first 40 Hard Court title, but not the way she wanted to do it. She and Dina McBride were having a great match, with ferocious rallies. The score was 3-3 and in the midst of a tough point Jennifer wrong-footed Dina, she made a move, her foot seemed to stick a bit and that was it. Dina seemed to know immediately that the injury was bad (a partial or full Achilles tear as it ended up). It was an unfortunate ending to a highly anticipated match that seemed to be living up to the expectations. After Dina hurt herself she was left standing till Jennifer came over and acted as a crutch to help Dina to the sidelines.

The women’s doubles finished with all four players still walking fortunately. Alissa Finerman and Erika Smith played splendidly to beat Gretchen Magers and Roz Fairbanks. Finerman moved brilliantly and Smith had big power that overwhelmed her opponents at time. There were some great points throughout. Debbie Higa and Jami Jones took the bronze over Amy Alcini/Tracie Currie who retired after dropping the second set. Higa and Jones dropped the first set in every match they played this week, and won the second set in every match they played as well, falling only to the eventual champions.

On the men’s side, Oren Motevassel wore down Jeff Greenwald, never giving up on a shot and displaying his fantastic fitness level all match long. He won 61 in the third. The rallies were terrific, but Greenwald seemed desperate at times to finish the point early, though at times he had to hit a series of seeming winners before finishing the point. Motevassel hit some great passing shots and never made it easy for Greenwald to hit winners, though he hit his fair share. Motevassel also took away the drop volley and drop shot to a large extent, with his speed.

On the other half of the draw. Peter Smith dropped the first set to Jeff Tarango, but fought back to win the second 75 when he retired due to illness (dizziness is what I heard). He had completed a three set father/son match just 30 minutes before the semi. After a rest he was able to play his second father/son match of the day.

Tomorrow the men’s singles and doubles finals and father/son semis and finals take place. The mixed final is taking place now.

I’ll post some photos today or tomorrow, I have a lot of photos of players in action.

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