Jonathan Pearlman of New York advanced to the semifinals at the National Open Hard Court Championships in San Diego.
© J. Fred Sidhu
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
SAN DIEGO -- Fourth-seeded Jonathan Pearlman of New York, N.Y., defeated ninth-seeded Deiton Baughman, 6-2, 6-1, to advance to the semifinals of the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships at the Balboa Tennis Club.
The 23-year-old Pearlman, a recent graduate from Harvard where he played number one on the men’s tennis team, used his experience to get past the hard-serving Baughman, a 16-year-old junior player from Carson, Calif., who stands 6 feet 5 inches tall.
From the start of the match, which was played on Court No. 8, Pearlman and Baughman engaged in a fierce baseline duel, which at times became heated.
In the first set, Pearlman, who was named first team All-Ivy League at Harvard this past season, took advantage of Baughman’s two double faults in the fourth game and broke serve to take a 3-1 lead. Despite dropping serve in the following game, Pearlman regrouped and won the last three games to capture the first set.
At 2-1 in the second set, Pearlman broke serve when Baughman double faulted on break point. After holding serve to extend his second-set lead to 4-1, Pearlman broke serve again as he hit a clutch forehand volley winner on break point for a 5-1 advantage.
Pearlman, who earned a degree in economics at Harvard, proceeded to serve out the match, which took approximately 90 minutes, as Baughman sent a forehand long on match point.
"Obviously the guy is a very good player. I just needed to rally with him until I got the opportunity to be aggressive," Pearlman said. "I was able to finish some points at the net and my serve helped as well, just being consistent with the first serve."
This is Pearlman’s third appearance in the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships at the Balboa Tennis Club. "I always like coming to San Diego, it’s a great city. I really enjoy the tournament and it’s a great facility," he said. "It’s a great community atmosphere. Everyone is so friendly. It’s enjoyable being here."
Pearlman will face second-seeded Clarke Spinosa, who plays for the University of San Diego, in a semifinal match scheduled for 9 a.m. PST Saturday.
In other tournament action, top-seeded Alessandro Damiano Ventre of Costa Mesa, Calif. was upset in his quarterfinal match as he fell to seventh-seeded Campbell Johnson of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.
The winners of each division will be awarded a USTA gold ball, while the runner-up will be awarded a USTA silver ball. There will also be a 3rd/4th place playoff for the USTA bronze ball. All draws will have consolation events.
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 - Quarterfinals
Campbell Johnson (7), Rancho Santa Fe, def. Alessandro Ventre (1), Costa Mesa, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Jonathan Pearlman (4), New York, N.Y., def. Deiton Baughman (9), Carson, 6-2, 6-1
Quinn Borchard (5), Camarillo, def. Mario Becerra, Pembroke Pines, Fla., 6-1, 6-3
Clarke Spinosa (2), Claremont, def. Denis Nguyen (9), Anaheim, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Women’s Singles - Quarterfinals
Parris Todd, Irvine, def. Morgan McCray, Oceanside, 6-1, 6-3
Megan McCray (2), Oceanside, def. Anne Susdorf, Newhall, 6-3, 6-4
Gabriella De Simone (1), Rancho Santa Fe, def. Jessica Failla (5), Ramona, Wd. (inj.)
Anna Yang (4), San Diego, def. Daniela Morales, Coronado, 6-3, 6-3