TOP SEED AND DEFENDING CHAMPION JESSICA FAILLA ADVANCES TO THIRD ROUND AT USTA NATIONAL OPEN HARD COURT CHAMPIONSHIPS Men’s No. 1 Seed Keegan Smith Moves into 4th Round with Straight-Set Win San Diego, Calif. – (May 31, 2017) – Top-seeded Jessica Failla of Ramona, Calif., started her title defense at the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships with a straight set victory, but it wasn’t easy as she needed nearly 2 ½ hours to get past Summer Dvorak of Laguna Beach, Calif., 6-4, 6-4 in a second-round match at the Balboa Tennis Club.
Failla, who received a first-round bye, fell behind the 19-year-old Dvorak 4-1 in the opening set, but recovered to win five consecutive games to secure the first set. In the second set, which was highlighted by numerous long rallies, the defending champion used a late service break against Dvorak, a hard-hitting baseliner who plays collegiate tennis for Vanderbilt University, to close out the match.
“I feel like a played pretty well. I had a really tough opponent. I just tried to focus on my game and do my best every point. She was a really consistent player so I needed to be aggressive, but at the same time, not make many errors. I focused on hitting my shots, coming to the net and minimizing those errors,” Failla said following her victory.
“This is the toughest year I’ve ever seen in this tournament. It’s bringing more great tennis to San Diego, having a lot of super tough players every round. As you can see from my (first) round, it’s really tough,” said Failla, who will take on unseeded Anna Ustinoff of Encino, Calif., in a third-round match scheduled for Thursday at 11:30 a.m.
In the men’s singles draw, top-seeded Keegan Smith of San Diego (Point Loma) eliminated unseeded Alexander Rushin of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., 6-3, 6-3 to reach the fourth round. The 18-year-old Smith will play ninth-seeded Mark Oljaca of Bradenton, Fla., at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
Two-time defending singles champion Emanuel Mensah of Chula Vista, Calif., also advanced as he breezed past Ryan Lee of La Canada Flintridge, Calif., 6-0, 6-1. Mensah, the No. 4 seed, will have a fourth-round meeting against unseeded Saxon Buehning of Essex Fells, N.J. on Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
Matches will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 1 through Saturday, June 3. The finals are scheduled to begin at noon on Sunday, June 4. (All times are PDT) Admission for spectators is free and open to the public. On-site parking is free.
The champions in each division will be awarded a USTA gold ball, while the runner-up receive 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 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. U.S. Davis Cup star Jack Sock, who is currently at No. 15 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings (as of 5/29/17), won the Men’s Singles Championship in 2010. Coco Vandeweghe, a semifinalist at this year’s Australian Open, 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, while Allison Bradshaw captured the Women’s Open Singles title in 2007.
The 2017 USTA National Open Hard Court Championships are sponsored by Wilson, San Diego District Tennis Association, United States Tennis Association, Graphic Interfaces, Clif Bar, Diadem, Minuteman Press of Mission Valley, CH Court Tech, Echo Sports & Third World Sports, Inc., San Diego Aviators, Kashi, and Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage.
About The Balboa Tennis Club In addition to the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships, the Balboa Tennis Club is the site for many prestigious tournaments throughout the year, such as the Maureen Connolly Balboa Open, the San Diego District Championships, the San Diego Metropolitan Tournament. The club, which is also the home of the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame, boasts over 1,400 members, and is visited by approximately 6,000 day pass visitors each year. As a nonprofit organization, Balboa Tennis Club is dedicated to offering the finest facilities at an affordable price to help foster and develop the great game of tennis in San Diego.
The history of the Balboa Tennis Club dates back to 1922 when a small group of tennis enthusiasts raised $5,000 among themselves, and with the cooperation from the City Recreation Department, constructed six tennis courts adjacent to the present War Memorial Building.
On April 24, 1924, the San Diego Tennis Association received a lease to operate the courts for the public. The following year, a small clubhouse with locker rooms was built, but it was not until June 1939 that Articles of Incorporation were drawn up, and the Balboa Tennis Club actually was formed as a public, nonprofit corporation to foster and develop the game of tennis in San Diego….and to encourage competitive play with other clubs of this and other communities.
The club flourished many years at its original location and aided many young players in developing their games. In June 1966, the club moved to its present location and in July, 1983, assumed all the operational responsibilities of the Morley Field Tennis Complex. In 1989 Balboa Tennis Club was rated as America’s Best Public Tennis Facility by the USTA. In 2000, the San Diego District Tennis Association named BTC as Club of the Year. In 2003, it received the Outstanding Tennis Facility award from the USTA for large facilities in the United States.
USTA National Open Hard Court Championships Balboa Tennis Club San Diego Wednesday’s Results
Men’s Singles Third Round
Keegan Smith (1), San Diego, def. Alexander Rushin, Rancho Santa Fe, 6-3, 6-3
Emmanuel Mensah (4), San Diego, def. Ryan Lee, La Canada Flintridge, Calif., 6-0, 6-1
Billy Rowe (7), Coronado, def. Jarod Hing, Paradise Valley, Ariz., 6-1, 6-2
Brandon Nakashima (8), San Diego, def. Arnav Mohanty, Roswell, Ga., 6-3, 6-0
Mark Oljaca (9), Bradenton, Fla., def. Yousef Benhamida, San Diego, 7-6, 1-6, 6-4
Nicholas Kamisar (9), Sammamish, Wash., def. Christopher Papa, Cypress, Calif., 6-1, 6-1
Corey Lunsford, Riverside, Calif., def. Mark Meyer, Danville, Calif., 6-3, 6-2
Saxon Buehning, Essex Fells, N.J., def. Jesse Ross, Ojai, Calif., 6-0, 5-7, 6-0
Anthony Gomez, Beverly Hills, Calif., def. Daniel De La Torre, San Diego, 6-3, 6-0
Women’s Singles Second Round
Jessica Failla (1), Ramona, def. Summer Dvorak, Laguna Beach, 6-4, 6-4
Dominique Schaefer (3), Newbury Park, Calif., def. Ashley Chao, San Diego, 6-1, 6-0
Hannah Zhao (4), San Diego, def. Alexa Corcoleotes, Hillsborough, Calif., 6-0, 6-1
Jennifer Kerr (5), Carlsbad, def. Aimee Tarun, Winnetka, Ill., 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
Annette Goulak (5), Oak Park, Calif., def. Ryan Peus, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., 6-1, 6-0
Sydney Van Alphen (5), Laguna Beach, Calif., def. Ellen Ashley, Plantation, Fla., 6-1, 6-2
Kelly Chen (5), Cerritos, Calif., def. Kristine Kouyoumjian, Torrance, Calif., 6-0, 6-1
Britt Pursell, Oceanside, def. Maika Adair, San Diego, 6-2, 6-0
Stephanie Luk, Millbrae, Calif., def. Brooke Biddle, Dallas, 6-3, 6-2
Cassidy Ferrell, San Diego, def. Alexandra Yeager, Georgetown, Texas, 6-2, 6-3
Ilana Oleynik, Pacific Palisades, Calif., def. Camila Gill, San Diego, 6-0, 6-0
Anna Ustinoff, Encino, Calif., def. Sylvia Schenck, Palm Harbor, Fla., 6-1, 6-1
Emma Pieroni, Dallas, def. Julia Jordan, Orange, Calif., withdrew (injury)
Hiromi Sasano, La Mesa, def. Ofelia Lopez, Chula Vista, Calif., withdrew (ill)