By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
LA JOLLA, Calif.
– While the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championships features some of the top collegiate players in the nation, the draw is also filled with independent players, some of whom are still in high school.
In Friday’s first-round action at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, a pair of high school seniors got the upper hand on their college opponents. Jack McCullers of San Marcos, Calif., and Tyler Pham of the San Diego community of Rancho Bernardo, defeated Kona Luu and Jason Wall of the University of California at San Diego, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
The 18-year-old McCullers attends Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, and Pham, who is 17, attends Rancho Bernardo High School. The two have already committed to play collegiate tennis after they finish high school later this year.
McCullers will be playing at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, while Pham will be closer to home at the University of California at Irvine.
In their second-round match, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. PT Friday, McCullers and Pham will have a tough test, as they face ninth-seeded Ciaran Fitzgerald and Thibaut Visy of the University of San Diego.
Despite the high level of competition at the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championships, it is not uncommon for high school players to win matches in the tournament, according to Bill Kellogg, tournament director and president of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.
"We have had some very talented high school players compete in this tournament, and over the years, several have made a strong run, deep into the draw," said Kellogg. "In fact, Rick Leach and Tim Pawsat, who went on to play at USC and later on the pro tour, were still in high school when they won this event in 1982."
Friday’s schedule at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club will begin at 8 a.m. and will feature 107 matches. The tournament continues through Sunday.
Defending champions Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher of Stanford are scheduled to play their opening-round match on Friday at 11 a.m. PT.
Spectator admission to the 123rd Annual Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Tennis Championships is free and open to the public. On-site parking is available for a nominal fee.
For the full tournament draw, go to:
Named "Club of the Year" for 2011 by the San Diego District Tennis Association and 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 when it attracted its first major tournament – the Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship in 1942.
The Annual Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championship is one of the five oldest tennis events in the world and the second oldest tennis event in the United States. First held in 1890 at The Hotel Del Monte in Monterey, Calif., the event was created to promote the sale of real estate on the Monterey peninsula. The original concept pitted the best players from the East vs. those from the West. This coast-to-coast rivalry was the inspiration for the Davis Cup. Past winners of the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championship include Jack Kramer, Ted Schroeder, Bobby Riggs, Pancho Segura, Don Budge, Tony Trabert, Stan Smith, Bob Lutz, Arthur Ashe, Dennis Ralston, John McEnroe and many other world-class champions.
About the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Inc.
Celebrating its 75-year anniversary in 2010, the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club is a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated company dedicated to the operation of a 14-acre beachside resort. The resort includes three properties, including the exclusive La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, the 128-room La Jolla Shores Hotel and the historic Marine Room restaurant. Resort amenities include 14 championship tennis courts, a nine-hole Par-3 golf course, two swimming pools, two additional oceanfront restaurants and cocktail lounges, and one of Southern California’s only private beaches. For more information, visit www.LJBTC.com