By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
LA JOLLA, Calif. –
She may not have been at her best, but former touring tennis professional Rosalyn Nideffer had enough game to win the Women’s 50 division singles title at the ITF Seniors World Individual Championships at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.
The third-seeded Nideffer, who lives in the Rancho Bernardo community of San Diego, Calif., defeated fourth-seeded Fran Chandler of Jackson, Tenn., 6-3, 7-5, in an entertaining final played on Court No. 1.
Nideffer, a veteran tennis professional, played on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour from the late 1970s through late 1990s. She is a two-time Wimbledon singles quarterfinalist and a two-time French Open doubles champion. In early 1990, she achieved her career-high singles ranking of 15 in the world.
Chandler won the Women’s 50s singles title at the United States Tennis Association National Senior Hard Court Tennis Championships last May at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. She dropped only one set this week on her way to reaching the final against Nideffer.
In Saturday’s final, Chandler and Nideffer held serve early in the first set as each player worked the ball around the court and patiently waited for an opportunity to hit a winning shot or come to the net for a put away.
With Chandler serving at 3-4, she faced two break points against her, but she fought off the first break point with a perfectly executed down the line forehand passing shot. However, on the second break point, Nideffer came up with a backhand volley winner to break serve and take a 5-3 lead.
One service break was all Nideffer needed as she quickly served out the next game to win the first set.
In the second set after Chandler held serve to take a 2-1 lead, there were four consecutive service breaks. Nideffer finally held serve in the eighth game to tie the score at 4-4.
A short time later at 5-5 in the set, Nideffer took advantage of Chandler’s errors and broke serve at love to take a 6-5 lead.
Nideffer served for the match in the next game and despite hitting a double fault on the first point, she came back to win the next three points to reach match point at 40-15. The match ended on the next point when Chandler’s backhand landed in the net.
After the match, Nideffer admitted she was nervous during the final because she had come into the tournament without a lot of confidence due to a lack of match play.
"I haven’t practiced very much and I haven’t played very many tournaments. The week before this tournament I had a chronic shoulder injury. I had an Achilles pull and a calf strain," she said. "I was just very nervous and not confident in going for my shots. I was just playing well enough to win."
In other tournament action, fifth-seeded Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo, Calif. defeated Carl Clark of Richmond, Va., 6-1, 6-4, to win the Men’s 45 singles championship.
Top-seeded Diane Barker of Daniel Island, S.C., scored a 6-3, 6-1 victory over second-seeded Patricia Medrado of Brazil to capture the Women’s 55 singles title and eighth-seeded Jennifer Dawson of Carlsbad, Calif. upset top-seeded Klaartje Van Baarle of Belgium, 6-4, 6-3, to win the Women’s 45 title.
The 2012 ITF Seniors World Individual Championships will conclude on Sunday, February 19 at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. The schedule of matches will begin at 9 a.m. (PT).
Tournament admission to watch the matches is free and open to the public. On-site parking is available at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club for a nominal fee.
For the most current draws and results for the 2012 ITF Seniors World Individual Championships, go to: www.itftennis.com/seniors
Recently designated one of the Top 50 Tennis Resorts in the world by Tennis Resorts Online, the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club's reputation as a top tennis destination started in 1942 when it attracted its first major tournament, the Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship. The club will be hosting the 123rd edition of The Pacific Coast Men’s’ Doubles Championships in March 2012, and the USTA National Hard Court Championships for Women’s 50-90 age groups in May 2012.