USTA National Women’s Hardcourt Tennis Championships
J. Fred Sidhu
Thursday, June 7
DeSimone of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. used her strong
baseline game to quickly eliminate unseeded Regina Suarez
of La Quinta, Calif., 6-0, 6-1, and advance to the quarterfinals of the
USTA National Open Hard Court Championships at the Balboa Tennis Club.
The 19-year-old DeSimone, who recently completed
freshman year at the University of Southern California, will face
Ramona, Calif. in a quarterfinal match scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday.
DeSimone, a member of the USC women’s tennis team, helped her team to a
24-4 record and a semifinal finish in the NCAA team championships this
In her second round match against Suarez, DeSimone
to a quick start as she broke serve in the opening game and would
continue to dominate in building a 6-0, 4-0 lead. In the eleventh game,
Suarez got on the scoreboard as she held serve when DeSimone’s forehand
service return sailed long on game point.
It didn’t take DeSimone long to get back on track as she easily won the
next two games to close out the match, which took approximately 50
minutes to complete.
“It feels good. I came off a good first year of
USC and I’m playing with a lot of confidence. I just want to keep going
and keep playing,” DeSimone said. ““I’m taking it match by match.”
DeSimone is looking for her first USTA gold ball
winning a silver ball and a bronze ball in previous national events.
“It would be special. That would be great. That’s what I’m shooting
for,” she said.
In other second-round women’s singles action,
McCray of Oceanside, Calif. defeated unseeded Monica Robinson of
Valley Center, Calif., 6-2, 6-0, to move into the quarterfinals.
Sunday, June 10
Spinosa of Claremont, Calif. and Gabriella De Simone
of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., had a day to remember at the Balboa Tennis
Club as both players captured singles titles at the USTA National Open
Hard Court Championships.
Spinosa, who plays intercollegiate tennis for the
University of San Diego, defeated seventh-seeded Campbell Johnson of
Rancho Santa Fe, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1, in the men’s singles final.
The 19-year-old De Simone, a member of the women’s tennis team at the
University of Southern California, defeated second-seeded Megan McCray of
Oceanside, 6-1, 6-0, in the women’s singles final.
After exchanging service breaks in the first set
the women’s singles final, De Simone won 11 consecutive games on her
way to winning the title. Afterwards she said the score did not
indicate how tough the match was.
(McCray) really made me work for every point. I stayed focused and
competed really well.” De Simone said. “This win is really good for my
confidence. I’m really happy about it.”
In the men’s singles final, Spinosa dropped the
set against the 20-year-old-Johnson, who has played the last two years
at the University of Georgia.
However, Spinosa cut down on his unforced errors and picked up the
level of his game and won the next two sets to claim the title. It was
the fourth straight three-set victory of the tournament for Spinosa.
“I just wanted to come out and be aggressive, but
was playing well in the first set. He had me on the run and he was
really attacking,” said Spinosa, who credited his fitness for helping
him win after losing the first set.
“I just wanted to stay out there as long as possible and see if I could
break him down,” he said. “We had a lot of long points and Campbell got
a little tired.”
Following their title matches, both champions were
a USTA gold ball for winning the national tennis event. It is the first
time Spinosa and De Simone have won gold balls.
The runner-up in each division received a USTA silver ball. There was
also a 3rd/4th place playoff for the USTA bronze ball. For complete
scores and results, go to:
Former tournament champions include current
American stars Jack Sock
and CoCo Vandeweghe
and former touring tennis professionals Gretchen Magers, Rosalyn Nideffer and
The USTA National Open Hard Court Championships was voted 2011
Tournament of the Year by the San Diego District Tennis Association.
The Balboa Tennis Club is the site for many
tournaments throughout the year, such as the Maureen Connolly Balboa
Open, the San Diego District Championships, and the San Diego
Metropolitan Tournament, in addition to the Hardcourt Nationals. 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
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
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
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.