Gabriella DeSimone, 2012 USTA National Open Hard Court women's singles champion.
© J. Fred Sidhu
Clarke Spinosa, 2012 USTA National Open Hard Court men's singles champion.
© J. Fred Sidhu
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
SAN DIEGO -- Second-seeded Clarke Spinosa of Claremont, Calif. and Gabriella DeSimone of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., had days 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 DeSimone, 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 to open the women’s singles final, DeSimone won 11 consecutive games on her way to winning the title. Afterwards she said the score did not indicate how tough the match was.
"She (McCray) really made me work for every point. I stayed focused and competed really well." DeSimone said. "This win is really good for my confidence. I’m really happy about it."
In the men’s singles final, Spinosa dropped the opening 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 Campbell 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 awarded a USTA gold ball for winning the national tennis event. It is the first time Spinosa and DeSimone 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.
Former tournament champions include current American stars Jack Sock and CoCo Vandeweghe and former touring tennis professionals Gretchen Magers, Rosalyn Nideffer and Allison Bradshaw.
Men’s Singles Championship
Clarke Spinosa (2), Claremont, def. Campbell Johnson (7), Rancho Santa Fe, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1
Men’s Doubles Championship
Quinn Borchard, Camarillo, and Geoffrey Embry (3), Phoenix, Ariz., def. Sergio Chip, Calexico, and Justin Seller, Australia, 1-6, 6-1, 7-6
Women’s Singles Championship
Gabriella DeSimone (1), Rancho Santa Fe, def. Megan McCray (2), Oceanside, 6-1, 6-0
Women’s Doubles Championship
Lindsey Kostas, San Diego, and Maja Sujica (1), Croatia, def. Deborah Higa, Solana Beach, and Jami Jones (2), Del Mar, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Mixed Doubles Championship
Allison Bradshaw, San Diego, and Derek Miller (1), San Diego, def. John Chanfreau, San Diego, and Caroline Vis (2), Carlsbad, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4