(December 5, 2013) La Jolla, Calif. – A year ago, former touring tennis professional Ros Nideffer lost in the singles final of the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships to Dina McBride of Valencia, Calif. This week however, the fourth-seeded Nideffer turned the tables on the defending champion as she ousted McBride, 6-4, 6-1, in a semifinal match at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.
The 53-year-old Nideffer, who lives in the San Diego community of Rancho Bernardo, advances to the final and will face top-seeded Sophie Woorons-Johnson of Anderson, S.C., who eliminated third-seeded Jennifer Dawson of Carlsbad, Calif., 6-4, 6-2 in the other women’s semifinal.
“I served a little bit better today. I was better prepared for her style of play. Last time I thought I could just chip and charge and come in. Today, I realized I had to be a bit more selective,” said Nideffer, a former two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, who was ranked as high as No. 15 in the world.
Nideffer described McBride’s game as a backboard. “She gets everything back. Her biggest strength is that she’ll lull you into thinking that she’s just going to hit it back cross-court and then suddenly she goes down the line with her backhand. That is probably her biggest strength. She’s very tenacious.”
In Wednesday’s quarterfinals, Nideffer was nearly eliminated as she dropped the first set against fifth-seeded Marlo Carruth of Studio City, Calif., but she drew on her experience of playing at the highest level on the women’s professional tour to recover and win the match.
“It (experience) helped me out. I lost the first set and I said to myself, ‘You can’t lose this match.’ I just kept telling myself, ‘You’ve done it before, just watch the ball,’” Nideffer said. “It’s just watching the ball and going for my shots. If I do that, I shouldn’t have a problem.”
Nideffer enjoys playing in events such the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships. “It’s a way of getting into shape and staying fit,” she said. “I enjoy the mental aspect of it, going out there and problem solving and trying to stay tough, especially when I’m successful.”
The women’s singles final is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.
In men’s quarterfinal action, top-seed and two-time defending champion Oren Motevassel of San Jose, Calif. got past ninth-seeded Bill Behrens of Murrieta, Calif., 6-1, 6-4. He advances to a semifinal meeting with fourth-seeded Tony Bujan of San Clemente, Calif., who defeated sixth-seeded Todd Nelson of Valley Center, Calif., 6-2, 6-0.
Fifth-seeded Michael Chang of Anaheim, Calif., eliminated third-seeded Kerry Safdie of San Diego, 6-0, 6-3 to move into the semifinals, where he will face second-seeded Julien Heine of Laguna Beach, Calif., a 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-0, winner over ninth-seeded Pierre Mareschal of Pasadena, Calif.
The men’s semifinal matches will also be played at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The USTA National Father and Son and Grandfather and Grandson Hard Court Doubles Championships will get underway on Friday, Dec. 6, with matches concluding on Sunday, Dec. 8.
For complete tournament draws and results, please go to: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=125262
Matches will begin at 8 a.m. (PST) on Friday, Dec. 6. The weekend’s schedule on Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8 will begin at 9 a.m. (PST). The men’s singles final will take place on Sunday.
The tournament, which includes former touring professionals and the nation’s strongest players in the 40 and over age group, also features men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles for players 40 and over.
The Father and 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 event is a relatively new competitive division that started at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club just a few years ago.
USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
La Jolla, Calif.
Oren Motevassel (1), San Jose, Calif., def. Bill Behrens (9), Murrieta, Calif., 6-1, 6-4
Tony Bujan (4), Palm Desert, Calif., def. Todd Nelson (6), Valley Center, Calif., 6-2, 6-0
Michael Chang (5), Anaheim, Calif., def. Kerry Safdie (3), San Diego, 6-0, 6-3
Julien S. Heine (2), Laguna Beach, Calif., def. Pierre Mareschal (9), Pasadena, Calif., 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-0
Ros Nideffer (4) San Diego, def. Dina McBride (2), Valencia, Calif., 6-1, 6-4
Sophie Woorons-Johnston (1), Anderson, S.C., def. Jennifer Dawson (3), Carlsbad, Calif., 6-4, 6-2