Dramatic Matches Highlight Thursday’s Action Nationals



Dramatic Matches Highlight Thursday’s Action At USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships

USTA Father/Son and Grandfather/Grandson Events Take Center Stage on Friday

There will be a new men’s singles champion this year at the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships after fifth-seeded Jesse Walter of Mercer Island, Wash., scored a dramatic 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-3 quarterfinal victory over three-time defending champion Tony Bujan at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

After losing the first set that took nearly 90 minutes to complete, Walter rebounded in the second set, securing a critical service break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Later in the 10th game of the set, Walter fought off three break points to hold serve and win the set to even the match at one set all.

In the third set, Walter built a 3-1 lead with an early service break and went on to close out the match in three hours and 18 minutes, ending Bujan’s three-year reign as the USTA National 40 Hard Court men’s singles champion.

Walter advances to a semifinal meeting with fourth-seeded Oren Motevassel of San Jose, Calif., on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (PST). The 49-year-old Motevassel, a former touring professional on the ATP World Tour, won the tournament singles title in 2011 and 2012.

Top-seeded Stuart Ross Duncan of Laguna Beach, Calif., faced his toughest test of the tournament so far, but managed to overcome eighth-seeded Leon Bax of Mountain View, Calif., 6-4, 7-5. Duncan will face sixth-seeded Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo, Calif., in the semifinals on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (PST). Greenwald, a former tournament champion, won the singles title in 2009.

In the women’s singles draw, fourth-seeded Hiromi Sasano, a 41-year-old native of Chiba, Japan, eliminated fellow San Diegan and second-seed Ros Nideffer 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4 in a thrilling semifinal match on Court No. 2 that lasted three-hours and 25 minutes.

Hiromi Sasano

Hiromi Sasano

After dropping the first set tiebreaker, Sasano fell behind 4-2 in the second set, but rallied to win four games in a row to send the match to a deciding third set, where she broke Nideffer in the critical ninth game to clinch the victory.

Sasano, a San Diego-based tennis teaching professional, will play in the women’s singles final on Saturday at 9 a.m. (PST), against number-one seed and former two-time tournament champion Dina McBride, who blanked third-seeded Fanny Gamble of San Rafael, Calif., 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinals.

For the latest tournament results and updated draws for each division, please go to the following link:

The starting times for the final three days of the tournament will be as follows: Friday, Dec. 2 – 8 a.m.; Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 – 9 a.m. (All times are PST). Admission for spectators is free and onsite parking is available for a nominal fee.

The USTA National Father/Son and Grandfather/Grandson Hard Court Doubles Championships will take center stage on Friday with early-round matches on the tournament schedule. Both Father/Son and Grandfather/Grandson events will conclude on Sunday.

Among the entries in the USTA National Father/Son Championship are former ATP World Tour players:

Brad Gilbert – Former Top 5 singles player in the world and former coach of Andre Agassi and Andy Murray. He is currently a Tennis Analyst for ESPN.
Murphy Jensen – 1993 French Open Doubles Champion.
Jonathan Stark – Former No. 1 doubles player in the world.
Jeff Tarango – Former Top 50 in singles and Top 10 in doubles in the world.
Erik van Dillen – Represented the U.S. in 14 Davis Cup ties.

The Father/Son Championship has been held continuously at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club since 1959, and attracts the top father and son tennis teams in the nation. The Grandfather/Grandson Championship is a relatively new competitive division that started at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club in 2003.

RadioTennis.com will broadcast the final weekend of the tournament. Live audio play-by-play coverage will be available on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4. Tennis broadcaster Ken Thomas will provide the web cast commentary. Go to RadioTennis.com for additional information.

Designated one of the Top 100 Tennis Resorts in the world by Tennis Resorts Online, the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club’s reputation as a top tennis destination started in 1942 when it attracted its first major tournament, the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championship. The Club will be hosting the 128th edition of The Pacific Coast Mens’ Doubles Championships in March 2017, and the USTA National Hard Court Championships for Womens’ 50-90 age groups in May 2017.

About the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Inc. – The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club is a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated company dedicated to the operation of a 14-acre beachside resort. The resort includes three properties, including the exclusive La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, the 128-room La Jolla Shores Hotel and The Marine Room restaurant. Resort amenities include 14 championship tennis courts, a nine-hole par-3 golf course, two swimming pools, two additional oceanfront restaurants and cocktail lounges, and one of Southern California’s only private beaches. For more information visit www.LJBTC.com.

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