Oren Motevassel raises the trophy after winning the National 40 Hard Court men's singles title.
© J. Fred Sidhu
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Top-seeded Oren Motevassel successfully defended his singles title at the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships as he defeated fourth-seeded Martin Barba of Carlsbad, Calif., 6-4, 6-2, in the final at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.
Motevassel, a resident of Rancho Mirage, Calif., was playing in his third straight National 40 Hard Court men’s singles final. He was awarded a USTA gold ball following his victory.
The championship final, which featured two former competitors on the ATP World Tour, began with three straight service breaks as Motevassel took a 2-1 lead over Barba, who had won the tournament singles title in 2008.
Barba attempted to slow down the pace of the match and draw Motevassel to the net, but Motevassel played a patient baseline game and waited for the right opportunity to hit winners.
Motevassel proceeded to take control as he dropped only five points in his next four service games to win the first set in 49 minutes.
In the second set, Motevassel took a 4-1 lead and extended it to 5-2 when Barba punched a forehand volley as he served at 15-40 in the seventh game. Motevassel then easily held serve in the next game to wrap up his second straight championship in exactly one hour and 30 minutes.
"It feels great. It was a good match. Martin played pretty well. He’s a good player and a good competitor," Motevassel said following the match. "We go way back. We know each other for 25 years. It was great to play him again. We always have fun matches."
As he spoke about his tournament run this past week, Motevassel said, "It’s always fun to come here. This (event) is on my calendar all year long. It’s at the top of my list. I’ll come back as long as I’m still fit and playing well."
In other tournament action, second-seeded Brett Joelson and Brian Joelson of Beaverton, Ore. defeated third-seeded Brett Morse-Karzen and Jerry Morse-Karzen of Wilmette, Ill., 6-2, 6-4, to win their ninth USTA Father and Son National Hard Court Championship in the last ten years.
USTA National Hard Court Championships
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
La Jolla, Calif.
Men’s 40 Singles
Oren Motevassel (1), Rancho Mirage, Calif., def. Martin Barba (4), Carlsbad, Calif., 6-4, 6-2
Jeff Greenwald (3), San Anselmo, Calif., def. Teet Ratsep, Aliso Viejo, Calif., 6-0, 6-2
Men’s 40 Doubles
Neel Grover, Laguna Beach, Calif., and Peter Smith (1), Long Beach, Calif. def. Ross Hessler, Mission Viejo, Calif. and Jon Tyrell (5), Sierra Madre, Calif., 6-0, 6-2
Jeff Tarango, Manhattan Beach, Calif. and Patricia Tarabini (1), Carlsbad, Calif. def. Tracie Currie, Ventura, Calif., and Daniel Marting (2), Phoenix, Ariz., 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
Father and Son Doubles
Brett Joelson and Brian Joelson (2), Beaverton, Ore. def. Brett Morse-Karzen and Jerry Morse-Karzen (3), Wilmette, Ill., 6-2, 6-4
Grandfather and Grandson Doubles
Billy Rowe and Lionel Rowe (1), Coronado, Calif. def. Josh Robbins, Temecula, Calif. and Earl Rutz, Pauma Valley, Calif., 6-0, 7-5