San Diego, Calif. – (June 2, 2016) – Top-seeded Jessica Failla of Ramona, Calif., began her quest for the women’s singles title at the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships with a dominating 6-0, 6-1 victory over unseeded Brooke Biddle of Dallas at the Balboa Tennis Club.
The 18-year-old Failla, who just completed her first year of intercollegiate tennis at the University of Southern California, moves into Friday’s quarterfinals, where she will meet fifth-seeded Maya Smith of Houston at 9 a.m.
“Everyone in this tournament is really good and I try to do my best every single match. Today I came out and I knew what I needed to do and how I needed to play. I didn’t focus on who I was playing or what round it was. I just focused on myself and what I’ve been working on,” Failla said following her opening match.
Failla, who captured the CIF San Diego Section singles title in 2013, appreciates the opportunity to play a national tennis tournament, like the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships, close to home.
“Tournaments like this help my game so much. The more matches I play, the better I feel about my game. It’s important for me to get a lot of play in this summer before the next college season,” Failla said. “It’s great to have events like this in San Diego…with great players coming from all over.”
In men’s fourth-round action, top-seed and defending champion Emmanuel Mensah of Imperial Beach, Calif., eliminated ninth-seed Jared Thompkins of San Diego 6-3, 6-3. The 27-year-old Mensa, a local tennis teaching professional, advances to the quarterfinal round, where he will face ninth-seeded David Goulak of Oak Park, Calif., at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.
Second-seeded Nicholas Kamisar of Sammamish, Wash., was extended to a first-set tiebreak in his fourth-round match versus ninth-seeded Derek Miller of San Diego, but still advanced with a hard-fought 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory in two-hours and 17 minutes.
The 24-year-old Kamisar, who played collegiate tennis for the University of Washington and Gonzaga University, will take on fifth-seeded Saxon Buehning of Essex Fells, N.J., in Friday’s quarterfinals at 10:30 a.m.
For a complete list of seeded players and updated men’s and women’s singles draws, go to: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=162217
Matches will begin at 9 a.m. (PDT) on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4. The men’s and women’s singles finals are slated for noon on Sunday, June 5. Admission for spectators is free and open to the public. On-site parking is free.
The winners of each division of the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships will be awarded a USTA gold ball, while the runner-up will be awarded a USTA silver ball. There will also be a 3rd/4th place playoff for the USTA bronze ball. Prize money will be distributed to both finalists as well as third and fourth place finishers in each division.
The men’s singles champion will receive a wild card into the qualifying draw for this year’s USTA Men’s $10K Pro Futures tournament in Laguna Niguel, Calif., while the women’s singles champion will earn a qualifying wild card for next year’s $25,000 Morgan Run Women’s Open at Morgan Run Club & Resort in Rancho Santa Fe.
The USTA National Open Hard Court Championships, which was voted, “2011 Tournament of the Year” by the San Diego District Tennis Association, has had several distinguished participants in past events. American men’s tennis star Jack Sock, who is currently No. 25 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings (as of 5/16/16), won the tournament singles title in 2010. Coco Vandeweghe, a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon last year, earned a USTA bronze ball at the 2007 Hard Court Championships. Former WTA touring professionals Gretchen Rush and Ros Nideffer won the Women’s Open Doubles title seven times and Alison Bradshaw won the singles title in 2007.
Emmanuel Mensah (1), Imperial Beach, def. Jared Thompkins (9), San Diego, 6-3, 6-3
Nicholas Kamisar (2), Sammamish, Wash., def. Derek Miller (9), San Diego, 7-6 (6), 6-4
Timothy Sah (4), San Diego, def. Jamie Vance, Henderson, Nev., 6-0, 6-0
Brian Battistone (6), Las Vegas, def. William LeFevre (9), San Diego, 6-1, 6-4
Stefan Menichella (8), Santa Barbara, Calif., def. Peter Trhac, San Diego, 6-3, 6-1
David Goulak (9), Oak Park, Calif., def. Ryan Seggerman (7), Coronado, 6-4, 6-4
Saxon Buehning (5), Essex Fells, N.J., def. Brendan McClain (9), Ventura, Calif., 4-1, ret. (injury)
Xavier Smith (9), Chula Vista, def. Jacob Brumm (3), Rancho Santa Fe, walkover (injury)
Jessica Failla (1), Ramona, def. Brooke Biddle, Dallas, 6-0, 6-1
Salma Ewing (2), Long Beach, Calif., def. Aida Garcia, Coronado, 6-1, 6-0
Kristina Smith (4), Laguna Niguel, Calif., def. Cassidy Ferrell, San Diego, 6-1, 6-2
Parris Todd (5), Newport Beach, Calif., def. Amy Huang, San Diego, 6-0, 6-4
Michalle Okhremchuk (5), San Diego, def. Lindsay Brown, San Diego, 6-2, 6-3
Hiromi Sasano (5), La Mesa, def. Soizette Simmons, Brooklyn, N.Y., 6-1, 6-1
Maya Smith (5), Houston, def. Maika Adair, San Diego, 6-2, 6-4
Kaitlyn Christian (3), Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., def. Cydnee Wilkinson, Washington, Utah, 6-0, 6-1
For complete scores and results, go to: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=16221