By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
LA JOLLA, Calif. –
Val Wilder of Fort Worth, Texas capped off an incredible week at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club as he won both the singles and doubles titles in the Men’s 50 division at the 2012 International Tennis Federation Seniors World Individual Championships.
The fourth-seeded Wilder faced third-seeded Mike Fedderly of Palm Desert, Calif. in the Men’s 50 singles final on Sunday morning on Court No. 1.
After splitting the first two sets, Wilder served to stay in the match at 5-6 and would fight off two match points before holding serve. He then went on to win the championships with a thrilling 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory.
Later in the afternoon, Wilder teamed with Fedderly to win the Men’s 50 doubles championship as they defeated Ross Hessler of Mission Viejo, Calif., and Jon Tyrell of Sierra Madre, Calif., 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
"There is something about this place…every time I come here, my game always rises to another level. I love playing here…it’s like coming home." Wilder said. "Every match I felt like I was getting better and better, stronger and stronger. I’m still shocked I was able to win two world titles. That’s pretty amazing."
Last week, Wilder earned a silver medal in the ITF Seniors World Team Championships as he helped lead his team to the final of the Fred Perry Cup (Men’s 50) competition where they fell to France 2-1. He said winning the two gold medals in the individual competition this week "definitely" takes the sting out of the previous week’s loss.
In other tournament action, second-seeded Jeff Tarango of Manhattan Beach, Calif. scored a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Marcus Hilpert of the Netherlands to win the singles title in the Men’s 40 division.
As the 2012 ITF Senior World Championships came to a close, Bill Kellogg, Tournament Director and President of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, said the event was an example of the great things that can happen when the community-oriented people of San Diego work together.
"This prestigious international tennis event, which we began planning for over a year ago, certainly would not have been possible without the community effort and long hours that were put in. San Diego should be very proud for the way everyone came together and made this tournament a complete success," Kellogg said.
"I would like to thank the San Diego Sports Commission, including Kristen Auten, Lexie Sarkisian and Whitney Goodman, and each of our tournament sites and their staff -- the Balboa Tennis Club, Barnes Tennis Center, La Costa Resort & Spa, Morgan Run Club & Resort, San Diego Tennis & Racquet Club, La Jolla Tennis Club and La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club," Kellogg added.
"We also owe a great deal of gratitude to our valued sponsors, Babolat, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch – The Hegardt Group, CH Court Tech, Tennis Warehouse and Vitamin Water."
For the final draws and results for the 2012 ITF Seniors World Individual Championships, go to: www.itftennis.com/seniors
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