Dina McBride advanced to her second straight National 40 Hard Court singles final.
© J. Fred Sidhu
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Top-seeded Dina McBride of Valencia, Calif. took another step in her singles comeback as she defeated Deborah Higa of Solana Beach, Calif., 6-2, 6-1, to advance to the women’s singles final of the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships for the second straight year.
In last year’s women’s singles final, McBride, a former collegiate tennis star at the University of San Diego, had to retire at 3-3 in the first set due to a torn Achilles tendon.
During her recovery since then, she has played some doubles, but had not played a practice set of singles until a week and half ago and was unsure if she would play this year’s tournament.
"I didn’t know if I could play. I was still recovering," she said. "This is probably a year and a half injury and I’m back in a year, which is really unheard of."
This week, McBride used her early round matches to get some feeling back on the singles court and credits her focus on playing one point at a time and taking one match at time for helping her get to her second consecutive singles final.
"I’m excited to be back, but I want to win the tournament, so I’m not that excited yet. It’s not over," McBride said. "I came here last year to win it and I didn’t win it and I’ve come this year to win it."
McBride will face second-seeded Ros Nideffer of San Diego (Rancho Bernardo), in the women’s singles final scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. Nideffer, who won the title in 2009, defeated seventh seeded Carolyn Nichols of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., 6-0, 6-1 to reach the final.
In men’s quarterfinal action, top-seeded Oren Motevassel of Rancho Mirage, Calif., third-seeded Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo, Calif., fourth-seeded Martin Barba of San Diego and unseeded Teet Ratsep of Aliso Viejo, Calif., captured victories to advance to the semifinals.
In Saturday’s men’s semifinals, which will begin at 9 a.m. PST, Motevassel will face Greenwald and Barba will meet Ratsep. The men’s singles final is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2.
The USTA National Father and Son Hard Court Doubles Championships, which features 70 teams, will take center stage on Friday, Nov. 30 with matches beginning at 9 a.m. PST. The defending champions are Travis Rettenmaier of Las Vegas and Tom Rettenmaier of Fountain Valley, Calif., who are seeded No. 1.
Former eight-time USTA National Father and Son Hard Court Champions Brett Joelson and Brian Joelson are also entered. They are seeded second.
The Grandfather and Grandson Hard Court Doubles Championships will also get underway on Friday, Nov. 30 with matches beginning at 1 p.m. PST. The Father and Son and Grandfather and Grandson events will conclude on Sunday, Dec. 2.
USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
La Jolla, Calif.
Oren Motevassel (1), Rancho Mirage, def. Julien Heine (5), Laguna Beach, 6-2, 1-0, (ret.)
Jeff Greenwald (3), San Anselmo, def. Todd Nelson (9), San Diego, 6-0, 6-1
Martin Barba (4), San Diego, def. Carsten Hoffmann (6), Corona Del Mar, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
Teet Ratsep, Aliso Viejo def. Damian Mooney, Manhattan Beach, (Default)
Dina McBride (1), Woodland Hills, def. Deborah Higa (3), Solana Beach, 6-2, 6-1
Ros Nideffer (2), San Diego, def. Carolyn Nichols (7), Rancho Santa Fe, 6-0, 6-1