FIFTH-SEEDED BRITT PURSELL BREEZES INTO WOMEN’S SINGLES
FINAL AT USTA NATIONAL OPEN HARD COURT CHAMPIONSHIPS
Men’s and Women’s Singles Finals Scheduled for Sunday at Balboa Tennis Club
SAN DIEGO – (June 1, 2019) – Seventeen-year-old Britt Pursell of Oceanside, Calif., continued her dominating play at the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships as she posted a convincing 6-0, 6-1 semifinal victory over unseeded Avery Aude of Woodland Hills, Calif., on Saturday morning at the Balboa Tennis Club.
The fifth-seeded Pursell, who is completing her senior year at El Camino High School, won the first 11 games in row before Aude held serve in the 12th game. With a 5-1 lead in the second set, Pursell fought off three break points and served out the match, which took just 55 minutes.
“It feels really good. I was just hoping to play a good match. I didn’t have any expectations,” Pursell said. “I’ve been playing like there is nothing to lose. I really don’t have anything to lose, so I’m just trying to play good tennis.”
Pursell will take on second-seeded Maya Pitts of Los Angeles in Sunday’s women’s singles final, which will get underway at 11 a.m. The 16-year-old Pitts defeated fifth-seeded Midori Castillo of Bonita, Calif., 6-4, 6-3 in the other women’s semifinal.
The men’s singles championship, which is scheduled to begin at noon on Sunday, will feature a meeting between third-seeded Oleksiy Arovin of Redmond, Wash., and ninth-seeded Bradley Frye of Overland Park, Kan.
The 25-year-old Arovin, a native of Ukraine, played collegiate tennis at Tennessee Tech University and Oklahoma State University. He currently competes on the International Tennis Federation World Tennis Tour.
In Saturday’s semifinals, Arovin eliminated second-seeded Siem Woldeab of La Mesa, Calif., 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 in one-hour and 56 minutes. In the third set, Woldeab scored an early service break for a 2-1 lead, but Arovin roared back to win the next five consecutive games to seal the victory.
Following his big win over top-seeded Isaiah Strode in Friday’s quarterfinals, Frye came back to win another tough match as he prevailed 7-5, 0-6, 6-4 over fifth-seeded Emmanuel Mensah, a former two-time USTA National Open Hard Court singles champion.
After dropping the first set, Mensah came back to win the second set at love in 22 minutes and looked to be in control of the match. However, Frye broke serve twice and jumped out to a commanding 5-1 lead in the deciding third set.
Mensah mounted a furious rally, winning the next three games to close the gap to 5-4. In the tenth game, Frye fell behind 0-30, but hit an ace to regain the momentum and proceeded to serve out the match to earn a spot in Sunday’s singles final.
“It was a tough first set. He (Mensah) made me work for it. I felt his game got better in the second set. I relaxed a little bit and he took it to me. The third set was a mental battle,” said Frye, who plays collegiate tennis for the University of Southern California. “He’s crafty and made me hit that one extra shot every single time. He mixed up the pace a lot, which worked to his advantage.”
To view updated tournament draws for each division, click here.
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 was voted “Tournament of the Year” in 2011 by the San Diego District Tennis Association. The event has had several distinguished past champions and participants. U.S. Davis Cup star Jack Sock, who reached a career-high No. 8 in the ATP Tour singles rankings in 2017, won the Men’s Singles Championship in 2010. Coco Vandeweghe, a semifinalist at the 2017 Australian Open and US 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.
Route 6 Café, featuring breakfast burritos, sandwiches, specialty coffee, smoothies, drinks and snacks, will be in operation at the Balboa Tennis Club during the tournament from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The 2019 USTA National Open Hard Court Championships are sponsored by United States Tennis Association, San Diego District Tennis Association, CH Court Tech, Collins Company, San Diego Aviators, Kashi, Cameo Janitorial, Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage, Wilson and Graphic Interfaces.
USTA National Open Hard Court Championships Balboa Tennis Club San Diego, Calif. Saturday’s Results