La Jolla, Calif. – (December 3, 2015) – It wasn’t easy, but former touring tennis professional Amy Frazier of Rochester, Mich., outlasted third-seeded Jennifer Dawson of Carlsbad, Calif., 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to advance to the women’s singles championship of the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships.
Playing in an early morning semifinal at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Frazier won the opening set after scoring a key service break in the ninth game and appeared headed to a straight-set victory as she broke Dawson twice to establish a 4-1 second-set lead.
However, Dawson, a local tennis teaching professional who has represented the United States in international senior competition, rallied and won five straight games to win the second set and even the match.
Frazier opened the third set with a service break and then held for a 2-0 lead. With the support of the home crowd, Dawson once again rallied and after holding serve in the third game, broke Frazier’s serve to tie the set score at 2-2.
Cutting down on errors, Frazier, who was once ranked No. 13 in the world, used her experience and eventually pulled ahead. She broke Dawson’s serve in the fifth and seventh games of the deciding set on her way to the victory, which took two hours.
“It was super tough. She ran down a ton of balls. It was hard. I had to just keep going for my shots,” said Frazier, who is playing in her first USTA Senior National event since retiring from the women’s professional tennis tour in 2006.
“I made some errors because she ran down so many balls. I was just going for too many shots. I got my patience back at the end of the second,” Frazier added. “It could have gone either way. Luckily, I won a few more of the big points in the third (set).”
Defending champion Dina McBride of Stevenson Ranch, Calif., advanced to her second straight women’s final as she breezed past unseeded Fanny Gamble of San Rafael, Calif., 6-1, 6-0 in the other singles semifinal. McBride, a tennis teaching professional, also won the tournament title in 2012.
“I’m looking forward to it (final). Dina won it last year, so obviously it’s going to be a super tough match. I’m just excited to come back tomorrow,” said Frazier as she spoke about the final, which is scheduled for Friday at 10:30 a.m. (PDT).
In men’s quarterfinal action, top-seeded Tony Bujan of Tustin, Calif., got past fifth-seeded Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo, Calif., 6-3, 6-4 to move into the semifinals. The two-time defending champion will face third-seeded Oren Motevassel of San Jose, Calif., on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (PDT).
Motevassel, a former touring tennis professional who won the National 40 Hard Court singles title in 2011 and 2012, defeated ninth-seeded Jesse Ponwith of Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-1, 6-3.
Matches will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 4. On Saturday, Dec. 5 and Sunday, Dec. 6, matches are scheduled to start at 9 a.m. (all times are PST). Spectator admission is free and on-site parking is available for a nominal fee.
Also on the tournament agenda is the USTA National Father/Son and Grandfather/Grandson Hard Court Doubles Championships, which begins Friday, Dec. 4 and concludes Sunday, Dec. 6. 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 just a few years ago.
By Fred Sidhu
USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club La Jolla, Calif. Thursday’s ResultsMen’s Singles Quarterfinals
Tony Bujan (1), Tustin, Calif., def. Jeff Greenwald (5), San Anselmo, Calif., 6-3, 6-4
Oren Motevassel (3), San Jose, Calif., def. Jesse Ponwith (9), Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-1, 6-3
Marcio Carlsson (4), Las Vegas, def. Michael Chang (5), Anaheim, Calif., 6-0, 6-1
David Smith (9), San Francisco, def. Shibu Lal, Novato, Calif., 6-2, 6-4Women’s Singles Semifinals
Amy Frazier (1), Rochester, Mich., def. Jennifer Dawson (3), Carlsbad, Calif., 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Dina McBride (2), Stevenson Ranch, Calif., def. Fanny Gamble, San Rafael, Calif., 6-1, 6-0Friday’s Schedule Women’s Singles Championship
Amy Frazier (1), Rochester, Mich., vs. Dina McBride (2), Stevenson Ranch, Calif.