2014 USC v. CAL

April 12th, 2014

Hey Tennis Friends!

Welcome to the new season of GroundsPass.net!
After a winter hiatus, it’s time to begin the sixth season of ALL NEW reports beginning with something brand new to GroundsPass.net: College tennis!

Recently I was invited out by the USC Trojans’ men’s tennis team as they took on the Cal Berkeley Golden Bears. Check out this report:

It was great to run into some of the Tennis Friends that I have previously featured in reports like Trojans Ray Sarmiento, Roberto Quiroz, and Connor Farren. My thanks to Greg Labanowski for the invite and hospitality!

Here are the results for the matches that I featured:

#1 DOUBLES (with college rankings):
#5 Hanfmann/Sarmiento (USC)
vs. #14 Bayane/Melton (CAL) 6-4 susp.

#3 SINGLES (with college rankings):
#56 Roberto Quiroz (USC)
def. Filip Bergevi (CAL) 7-5, 6-4

I normally feature my own take on the events that transpired, however, I cannot top the in-house report from the winning team. Check out their report here:
No. 2 USC Men Clamp Down On No. 18 Cal With 4-0 Win

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

- Marcus Tennis

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2013 La Habra Open

December 9th, 2013

Hey Tennis Friends!

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I was once again priviledged to get out to see some fantastic tennis, LIVE, and in my local area. What follows is my comprehensive press coverage, as well as my video report from the final day of the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

TOP SEEDS ADVANCE, THANKS TO THE SUNSHINE

By Marcus Tennis

LA HABRA, CA (Nov. 30, 2013) – The main draw is in full swing at the La Habra Open Tennis Championships at Dave Nowick’s La Habra Tennis Center, in La Habra. This event not only features Open-level singles, doubles, and mixed, but various NTRP rating and age divisions, as well. With a combined draw just under 250, there is a great variety of tennis to be seen, with players competing for total prize monies of $5,000.

Black Friday was nearly “bleak Friday”, as the rains held up play until the afternoon. Fortunately, tournament director Dave Nowick had a lot of help getting things back on track, “Our whole crew of players helped us out, so we got the courts ready for play at 1:30pm and completed the matches at 10:20pm. All the other tournaments in the area cancelled for the day.”

Friday’s late night completions and the sunshiny forecast allowed Saturday’s schedule to proceed as scheduled.

Johnny Wang swings through his backhand during the early rounds at the 2013 La HabraOpen Tennis Championships.

Johnny Wang swings through his shot during the early rounds at the 2013 La HabraOpen Tennis Championships.

Saturday’s quarterfinal action in the men’s Open-level draw saw the number one seeded Daniel Kosakowski, formerly of UCLA, taking on unseeded Johnny Wang, currently at USC. “Johnny played pretty well. I won the first set, up two beaks, and in the second set I went down two breaks, early” said Kosakowski. “The three games after, to get it back to three-all were, like, five deuces each, so, it could have been 5-0 or 3-2. Luckily I won those games, though.”

It was more than just luck that allowed Kosakowski beat the third-year Trojan 6-3, 6-4. There was some personal redemption at stake. Not between the players, but against his own injury.

Starting 2013 in the 250s, his professional ranking has dropped to over double that. “I had a tough beginning of the year, then I started playing well”, he assessed, “I had my best result at a Challenger (he made the final at San Luis Potosi, Mexico), and then got hurt right after that.”

Number one seeded Daniel Kosakowski keeps his eye on the ball during the early rounds at the 2013 La HabraOpen Tennis Championships.

Number one seeded Daniel Kosakowski keeps his eye on the ball during the early rounds at the 2013 La HabraOpen Tennis Championships.

A shoulder injury kept him out of the game since April, and he just got back into competition in October. “I was out for six months. I wanted to get some matches and hopefully get a good start to the beginning of the year.”

When asked about his number one seeding, and if there was any pressure living up to that seed, the Southern California native responded, “Not really, I know everyone here, so, I’m just playing to get back into it. I feel good, it’s not like my fitness is going to be much of an issue.”

Tim Kpulun focuses on his backhand swing during the early rounds at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Tim Kpulun focuses on his backhand swing during the early rounds at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Nearly all of the remaining seeded players came through, with an upset when number six seeded Tim Kpulun, from Sierra Leone, defeated the number three seed, Roberto Quiroz, of Ecuador. After a tough three-setter, Kpulun will return for the semifinals as a result of his 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win.

One of the many things that make this tournament unique is the number of chair umpires. Typically, events of this size have two “roving” umpires, but, Nowick has stepped it up for his tournament. “We’re chairing six matches in almost every time frame (throughout the event),” said Nowick. “The 3.5s and 4.5s have never had that before. They can’t believe it!” The players agree,“It seems odd to have a chair umpire on court for just a 3.5 level match” said Gabriel Papp, who finished his semifinal singles match with a win, moving into tomorrow’s final.

The women’s Open-level singles draw was down to the semifinals. Carson’s Kalani Soli had a good showing, but, could not overcome the number two seeded Ena Shibahara, from Rancho Palos Verdes, going down 6-3, 6-3, in a battle of fifteen year olds.

The other semifinal was between UC Irvine’s Mazy Watrous and USC’s Kaitlyn Christian. Drawing a crowd, the lengthy match lasted nearly two and a half hours, making for a tough, but exciting, three-setter. 

Seeded number one, Christian, one half of the number one college doubles team in the nation, was the eventual winner, but, not without her doubts. “Because I lost the first set, and it was pretty even in the second, I was getting down on my self and didn’t have the best attitude,” said Christian, “In the third set I came out and said ‘Whatever happens, happens. Just play tennis.’ Then I started hitting my shots pretty well and won the match.”

Kaitlyn Christian leans into her shot during the early rounds at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Kaitlyn Christian leans into her shot during the early rounds at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Along with her 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory, Christian was impressed with her opponent’s progress, “Obviously she was playing very well. I played her a year ago, and we had a three-setter, as well. She’s a good player and has got a lot better since the last time I played her. Maybe not my best day of tennis, but, I was happy to get through it.”

Christian now meets up with Shibahara in Sunday’s final. “I have played her before, it was a close match, and she beat me. She’s a really good up-and-comer, so I’m really looking forward to having a good match.”

BEAUTIFUL WEATHER, MIXED RESULTS
& BATTLE OF THE BRUINS

By Marcus Tennis



LA HABRA, CA (Dec. 1, 2013) – Unbelievable weather provided exceptional conditions for the final day of the La Habra Open Tennis Championships at Dave Nowick’s La Habra Tennis Center, in La Habra.

The warm-weather morning began with the men’s Open-level singles semifinals. The number one seed and former UCLA Bruin, Daniel Kosakowski, made quick work of Tim Kpulun, taking out the player from Sierra Leone 6-0, 6-1. Simultaneously, on an adjacent court, the number two seed and former Bruin, Nick Meister, had his own success, overpowering the number five seeded Rafa Davidian, a current UC Irvine Anteater, 6-2, 6-1.

Kaitlyn Christian powers her backhand during the final at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Kaitlyn Christian powers her backhand during the final at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

The women’s Open-level singles final was an unexpected blowout. With the number one and two seeds, USC senior Kaitlyn Christian and top Southern California junior Ena Shibahara, respectively, there was the promise of a tough battle under the 80º sun. That promise was broken as Christian struggled with errors against the consistency and power of Shibahara.

“I just went out there and thought about the match last time”, said Shibihara, who had beaten Christian in their last match-up at the US Open National Playoffs in Claremont. “I just remembered what her weakness was, and her strengths were, and I just thought about playing aggressive.”

Ena Shibahara winds up her backhand during the final at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Ena Shibahara winds up her backhand during the final at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

After Shibahara took the first set without dropping a game, Christian made an attempt to change things up, but Shibahara didn’t waiver, “I just stayed with my own plan. I’m not really sure what she changed, but, I just stuck with the plan.”

Shibahara made quick work of the second set, as well, again giving up zero games in her 6-0, 6-0, 45 minute championship victory. “It was a really big challenge for me”, said the fifteen year old, “I just had to play my best out there, and I think I did that very well.”

Nick Meister comes in for a forehand volley during the final at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Nick Meister comes in for a forehand volley during the final at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Following the women’s match was the men’s Open-level singles championship, the “Battle of the Bruins”. Kosakowski and Meister only attended UCLA for one year together, but, they certainly ran around together on the courts. “You just know it’s going to be a close match since we’ve practiced with each other a lot,” said Kosakowski, “We’ve played each other in a couple of tournaments, so we both know each others’ games. It wasn’t a shock that it was pretty tight.”

Meister held his own for most the first set, which was filled with powerful serves and long rallies. Kosakowski was able to get up a break and hold his serve to take it 6-4.

Daniel Kosakowski returns a backhand shot during the final at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Daniel Kosakowski returns a backhand shot during the final at the 2013 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

“In the second set, I was down a break,” said Kosakowski, “I think that actually helped me. I just loosened up a little, once I was down, and I started playing better. I think, actually, getting down early in the second helped me in the long run.”

Despite Meister’s valiant effort, Kosakowski was able to pull ahead, taking the second set 6-2 and the championship along with that. “We’ve know each other for awhile” said Kosakowski, “We knew it was going to be a close match. Luckily I was able to come away with the victory.”


Even though there were many other divisions of championship matches, most of the play ended by dusk, capping another successful year of this long-running tournament.

Here is my video report featuring highlights and interviews from Sunday’s events:

I am always at the mercy of whatever matches are able to be scheduled on Center Court, as that is the best court for camera coverage. Because I limit the duration of my programs, I did not cover either of the Men’s Open Singles semifinal matches, in lieu of the championship round.

The results for the matches that I featured in the video report are:

WOMEN’S OPEN SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP
Ena Shibahara d. Kaitlyn Christian 6-0, 6-0

(The “official” recorded score reflects 6-0, 6-1, but, on my video, it is clear that the actual score was 6-0, 6-0.)

MEN’S OPEN SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP
Daniel Kosakowski d. Nick Meister 6-3, 6-2

(In the video interview, I mention that the first set was 6-4. In reviewing the video record, it was clearly 6-3.)

MEN’S OPEN DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP
Rickey Baylon / Ace Matias
d. Jonathan Sanchez / Bruno Santarelli 6-7, 6-4, 7-6

Along with partner Bettina Radke, Sanchez was last year’s mixed Open doubles champion at this event.


To view complete tournament draws and results, follow this link:

http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=131693

For more pics, updates, and previews for next year’s La Habra Open,
“LIKE” and “SHARE” their Facebook page:
Facebook.com/LaHabraOpen

For more information about the La Habra Tennis Center, follow this link:

La Habra Tennis Center

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

- Marcus Tennis

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2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Open

November 3rd, 2013

Hey Tennis Friends!

Last weekend, one of my local tennis venues had its third annual USTA sanctioned Open event. What follows is my comprehensive press coverage, as well as my video report, from the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.

GREAT WEATHER, GREAT TENNIS

RIVERSIDE, CA (Oct. 24, 2013) – The main draw has begun at the iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships at Andulka Park Tennis Center, in Riverside. The 1:30pm afternoon start accommodated many of the players who traveled from all over Southern California to be a part of the “Battle of the Pros”

In first round action, Moreno Valley resident, and RCC tennis standout, David Stanko made easy work of his opponent Abhit Singh of Los Angeles, 6-0, 6-1.

David Stanko keeps his eye on the ball during the early rounds at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.

David Stanko keeps his eye on the ball during the early rounds at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.


“We had some blowouts, which is typical of the first round, but we also had some great matches”, said Director of Tennis, Larry Loeb. “David Stanko won pretty handily, but he’s got a tough one tomorrow against Alessandro Ventre, who is from Riverside, and is one of our top seeds, and an excellent player, so, it should be a good match.”

Despite the foggy morning, by the time the matches began, the sun came out to mild temperatures to finish the afternoon, blending into a much cooler evening session.

“This weekend, we have zero chance of precipitation, which makes a tournament director really, really, really, happy!”, boasted Loeb, “We had a really good three-setter between two college kids today and look forward to some great action tomorrow. It’s going to be beautiful all weekend and we hope that everyone comes out for the marvelous weather and the high level of tennis.”

Players in men’s and women’s singles and doubles are competing for a minimum of $4,500 in total winnings. Proceeds from this event will benefit Let’s Teach, Inc., which provides life skills to socio-economically disadvantaged youth through the sport of tennis.

TOP SEEDS BREEZE THROUGH

RIVERSIDE, CA (Oct. 25, 2013) – The first full day session of main draw action
saw no upsets of the seeded players at the iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships at Andulka Park Tennis Center, in Riverside. The foggy 8:00am start burned off to a wonderful day of high level tennis. Tournament Director Larry Loeb declared that this event has, “Some of, if not thee best tennis ever played in Riverside!”

In an early women’s singles quarterfinal match, the number two seeded Kaitlyn Christian, of Orange, rolled over Claremont’s Victoria Santoro 6-1, 6-0. A pretty easy match for one half of the number one ranked college doubles team, and USC senior. “I made a friend today!”, said Christian, “I want to get better at singles. It’s my main goal. Doubles is easier when you have another person out there, I just want to get a few matches in before the (ITA Nationals).”

The biggest match of the day session was a women’s singles quarterfinal match between Hemet resident and Andulka teaching pro Bay Daniels, and former North High School star and UCR freshman Jasmine Almaguer. Under the eighty degree midday sun, center court drew the biggest crowd, turning the “Battle of the Pros” into the “Battle of the Inland Empire”.

Almaguer looked comfortable in the first set, taking control of the points at key moments, even though these players had never met before. “I prefer not knowing who my opponent is, and not knowing anything about them. Just going out there with a clear mindset, and then figuring it out on the court”, assessed Almaguer, who took the first set.

Jasmine Almageur cranks back for her backhand at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.

Jasmine Almageurcranks back her backhand at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.


In the second set, it was Daniels who seemed to be the better player. She had not played a tournament in five years, and was a little nervous in the first set because of that. “I didn’t give up (in the second set). I wasn’t as nervous. I started to relax and wasn’t really doing anything different with my game”, said Daniels. Almaguer would disagree, “She started playing smarter, more shots, more angles, more spin.
I just relaxed too much. I thought I had it, then obviously, I lost it .” Almaguer’s second set loss forced a third and deciding set.

“After losing that second set I was pretty frustrated, I should’ve wrapped it up, but I let it slip”, confessed Almaguer. Daniels looked to make easy work of her younger opponent in the third set, “I was up 5-2, but when it got close, I got nervous.”, said Daniels, “I couldn’t serve as good as I was in the previous sets. I was just exhausted and my body was aching.”

After three tough sets, and nearly three hours, the match came down to a tiebreak, with Daniels saving a few match points, which didn’t bother Almaguer too much, “I knew if I played smart, and if I kept fighting, it was just a matter of closing it up.” Almaguer finally took the match 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(6). “I’m going to go get some physical therapy and come in fresh tomorrow”, said Almaguer, “I’m excited to play!”

On the men’s side of the draw, the number one seed, Kyle Dandan, from Los Angeles, defeated San Carlos’ Daniel Morkovine 6-2, 6-0 in a men’s Round of 16 matchl. “He had a pretty good serve and got a lot of balls back, I was just lucky enough to put them away”, said the 2012 Santa Clara University grad. While a standout at SCU, Dandan helped take his team to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history, and they reached the highest ranking ever, 29th. “I am very proud of those achievements.”

Looking forward in the draw, Dandan said, “I’ve played those guys and we’ve had some tough matches, so, I’m expecting them to play their best.”

SOME MEN’S SEEDS FALTER,
WOMEN’S SEEDS HOLD UP

RIVERSIDE, CA (Oct. 26, 2013) – It was a tough day on the men’s side of the draw at the iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships at Andulka Park Tennis Center, in Riverside. In a full-scheduled day, two rounds of singles were on the board, which resulted in many upsets.

First up in the men’s singles quarterfinal round, top half of the draw, the number eight seed, Logan Smith, downed the number one seeded Kyle Dandan 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-4.

In another three set marathon, Sierra Leon’s Tim Kpulun, the number three seed, fell to the number six seed, Israel’s Amit Inbar 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(2).

In the men’s quarterfinal bottom half, unseeded Frenchman Maxime Tabatruong moved into the semis after only four games, up 3-1, as the number two seeded Xavier Smith retired from fatigue of a recent broken hand.

Wrapping up the quarterfinal matches, former Cal Baptist University standout and Riverside resident, Alessandro Ventre, had a tough first set as he took on the number four seed, Sebastian Rivera. Seeded number five himself, after a closely contested tiebreak first set, Ventre moved into the semifinal, over Rivera, 7-6(6), 6-2.

In women’s singles semifinal action, Riversider Jasmine Almaguer’s run came to a halt at the hands of the number one seeded Bettina Radke, from Germany. Despite some exciting points, Radke dominated the UCR freshman 6-0, 6-1.

In the other women’s semifinal, the number one college doubles player in the nation, Kaitlyn Christian, had her hands full with Katie Kuosman. Kuosman, from Colorado, and now a player for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, did not allow herself to be rolled over by the two-time ITA doubles champ. “It was a little bit tougher than yesterday”, said Christian, “I played a really good opponent. She gave me a good match.”

Kaitlyn Christian stretches out to get a backhand back in play at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.

Kaitlyn Christian stretches out to get a backhand back in play at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.


Christian won the first set, giving up three games. She was up 5-1 in the second, when Kuosman started rallying back, taking two more games off of the number two seed. “I got a little bit tired toward the end, I don’t think I ate a big enough breakfast”, said Christian, “She played really well, and I was losing a little bit of energy out there, so I was just happy to close it out with my serve.” Christian moved into the final, against Radke, with a 6-3, 6-3 win.

In the first men’s semifinal, Alessandro Ventre, had a game plan, “I think I started pretty well, hitting the lines a lot, hitting the ball early, and being aggressive.” Ventre’s big serve helped him dig out against Maxime Tabatruong of a number of points when he was down.

Alessandro Ventre looks in good form at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.

Alessandro Ventre looks in good form at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.


Ventre, originally from Brazil, reflected on his time at CBU, “My time there was nice. I played there three seasons and had really good fun, and really good matches. I had people I really care about around me, in a different place, and sharing those moments was really cool.” Ventre moved into the final over Tabatruong 6-3, 6-2.

The biggest surprise of the day happened in the second men’s semifinal, where sixteen year old high school junior Logan Smith, of Carlsbad, took out former UCLA team standout, Amit Inbar. After two tough sets of masterful play, the number six seeded Inbar ran out of energy in the third, catapulting the number eight seed, Smith, into Sunday’s final against Ventre with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory.

Here is my video report featuring highlights and interviews from Saturday’s event:

Women’s doubles finalists are UC Riverside’s Jasmine Almaguer / Courtney Pattugalan versus Katie Kuosman / Victoria Santoro, both CMS team members.

Men’s doubles finalists are former UCLA players Amit Inbar / Maxime Tabatruong versus Skyler Butts / Neel Kotrappa, both CMS team members.

WARM TEMPS, SIZZLING ACTION

RIVERSIDE, CA (Oct. 27, 2013) – It was championship day at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships at Andulka Park Tennis Center, in Riverside. The four day professional tennis event had its largest crowd ever, including Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey, who participated in the ceremonies. “The City of Riverside is really proud of this investment, and to have this continued professional footprint here in Riverside”, said Bailey.

First up on center court, Bettina Radke and Kaitlyn Christian, seeded first and second respectively, came out firing for the women’s singles final in front of the early morning crowd. The first set was peppered with drop shots and short angles where neither player was able to dictate play for too long, without the other coming back. Christian, the number one college doubles player in the nation, was able to hold her break and take the first set.

(L to R) Tournament director Larry Loeb, runner-up Bettina Radke, women's singles champ Kaitlyn Christian, emcee Marcus Tennis at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.

(L to R) Tournament director Larry Loeb, runner-up Bettina Radke, women’s singles champ Kaitlyn Christian, emcee Marcus Tennis at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships. Photo credit: Kristy Gladding


In the second set, Radke’s lack of recent matchplay got the best of her as the college-match-tough Christian took control of the match. Radke had a few games with the scales tipped against her, and certainly had her chances to pull them out, but Christian was too solid, winning the championship 6-4, 6-1.

The men’s singles final brought sixteen year old high school junior Logan Smith, against former top Cal Baptist University player Alessandro Ventre. Ventre won the coin toss, elected to serve, and began blasting his serves. “I just came out to play more aggressive”, said the fifth seeded Ventre, “Really trying to take care of that first serve, as well as being aggressive on the second serve.”

Logan Smith winds up his backhand at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.

Logan Smith winds up his backhand at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.


Ventre went up 4-1, but Smith, ranked number five in SoCal boy’s 18s, had shaken off his final round jitters, and started breaking back. Ventre took it in stride, “I always get a little concerned, but I knew the problem there was me. I missed balls that I shouldn’t have, then he’d come out with one good shot to break back. So I knew that if I could avoid those really bad options I could stick with my game plan.” Blistering serves from both players saved break points throughout the match.

The twenty-eight year old Ventre took the first set with a close 7-5 win. Smith held his own at the beginning of the second set, but, Ventre’s strategy was working too well, “I tried to move in as much as I could, not to get into the rallies too much. I wanted to be the one dictating the points, and it worked, pretty much, for the whole tournament.”

Alessandro Ventre powers through to the men's singles championship at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.

Alessandro Ventre powers through to the men’s singles championship at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.


Despite, or perhaps because, of the twelve year age difference, Ventre took home the championship trophy by taking the second set 6-3. “I just wanted to show him that he’d really have to fight against an older guy, to play, and if he wanted to win he really would have to deserve it.”

Next up for Ventre is vacation time in his home country of Brazil, then a couple of futures, before coming back to compete in the United States next spring.

The women’s doubles was the first of the finals that pitted college against college. The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team of Katy Kuosman and Victoria Santoro went up against the team from University of California Riverside, Courtney Pattugalan and John W. North high graduate Jasmine Almaguer.

Pattugalan/Almaguer did not come out as strong as in their previous match, where they did not give up any games. “Honestly, we were struggling in the very beginning”, said Almaguer, “We were down 1-2, the games were really close, and we realized that we were making a lot of mistakes.”

The Highlanders were able to talk it out during the changeovers, “We were playing the wrong way”, said Almaguer, “Then we realized we just need to play smart, get the ball in play and wait for the opportunities, instead of just trying to put a ball away.” Their strategy worked, as they were able to overcome the initial deficit and take the first set.

Jasmine Almaguer cuts the point short with a backhand volley as her partner, Courtney Pattagalan, looks on during their women's doubles victory at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.

Jasmine Almaguer cuts the point short with a backhand volley as her partner, Courtney Pattagalan, looks on during their women’s doubles victory at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.


The second set may have looked easy, but, it was just solid work by the junior, Pattugalan, and the freshman, Almaguer, “After we got a feel for our game and got comfortable, we went on a roll, and it all came together.” Pattugalan/Almaguer won the championship 6-2, 6-1.

Almaguer was grateful to be playing in front of a hometown crowd, “To see this amount of people here in Riverside watching us, I was nervous. I double faulted the first time (serving). It was really cool to see this group of people, it was a good environment!”

For the final match of the day, the fans were treated to an exciting showcase of professional level men’s doubles. The CMS team of Skyler Butts and Neel Kotrappa went up against the number four seeds, UCLA alumni Maxime Tabatruong and Amit Inbar. Butts/Kotrappa had not dropped a set in their run to the final, and since they were both eliminated in the earlier rounds of the singles draw, they were more rested than the singles semifinalists Tabatruong and Inbar, who each had to play two singles and one doubles match the previous day.

Mamime Tabatruong slices at the net as his partner, Amit Inbar, watches from the back court during their championship win at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.

Mamime Tabatruong slices at the net as his partner, Amit Inbar, watches from the back court during their championship win at the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Open Tennis Championships.


Butts/Kotrappa had the trophy in their sights as they took the first set from the former Bruins. Tabatruong/Inbar would not fold that easily, taking the second set and forcing a third full set in this standard format tournament.

It may have dwindled a little, but it sure was a mighty crowd that witnessed nearly ninety minutes of lighting fast doubles action, with reflexes that would make a club-level player question whether they could even step onto the same court as these young men.

Tabatruong/Inbar stepped it up in the deciding set, taking home the championship trophies and prize money 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. Tabatruong/Inbar were very complimentary to their opponents, and the tournament, in their post match acceptance speeches, with Inbar making a sincere off-court observation, “It’s not about the prize money, it’s about the experience.”

Fore more picture of players in action, please visit the event’s official Facebook page: Facebook.com/AndulkaParkAdultOpen

That concludes my reports from the 2013 iTennis/Andulka Park Adult Tennis Championships.

Located in Riverside, California, here is the link where you can find more information about Andulka Park Tennis Center:

AndulkaTennis.com

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

- Marcus Tennis

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2013 USTA Pro Circuit – Claremont, CA

September 14th, 2013

Hey Tennis Friends!

A USTA Pro Circuit Futures event was held this week at the Claremont Club in Claremont, California. I was there on Thursday to file this report:

Here is the link to the page with the three USTA Pro-Circuit events that we have in Southern California this month.
http://www.usta.com/Pro-Tennis/Pro-Circuit/2013_mens_pro_circuit_tournaments__september/
Clink on the links from that page to get the draws and schedules!

Here are the results for the matches that I featured:

SINGLES ROUND OF 16 (with seedings):
(2) Nicolas Meister d. Maxime Tabatroung 6-3, 3-2 retired

(3) Dennis Novikov d. Connor Farren 6-3, 7-6(1)

DOUBLES SEMIFINAL (with seedings):
(1)Carsten Ball / Daniel Garza
d. Marcos Giron / Clay Thompson 6-3, 7-6(4)

The longtime GroundsPass.net subscribers may remember Carsten Ball when he was featured in my coverage of the 2009 LA Tennis Open:
2009 LA Tennis Open VI

Or, Marcos Giron, when he won the boy’s 18s singles championship at the 2011 Easter Bowl:
2011 Easter Bowl Ntl Spring Champs II

As of this posting, Nicolas Meister and Dennis Novikov are still in the tournament, and will play each other in the singles semifinals. In addition, another Tennis Friend, Marcos Giron, is also in the semis. Matches begin at 10:00AM, today, Saturday, Sept, 14, so, if you are in the area, you can watch these matches for FREE!

The doubles final was held Friday, and here is that result:
DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP (with seedings):
(1)Carsten Ball / Daniel Garza
d. Matt Fawcett / Oscar Fabian Matthews 7-5, 4-6, [10-8]

Be sure to share GroundsPass.net with your other Tennis Friends using the social networking buttons, below.

Subscribe for FREE to this site, my Twitter feed, and/or friend me on FaceBook.

I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

- Marcus Tennis

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2013 WTT: OC Breakers III

August 25th, 2013

Hey Tennis Friends!

Even though the World Team Tennis regular season is over, I like to keep the enthusiasm alive by continuing, throughout the year, to share the fun of going to one of these events.

In this featured match from last month’s brief season, the Breakers take on the Bryan Brothers and a new team for the league, the Texas Wild. Despite my extensive emcee duties, this time I was able to get more comprehensive coverage. Check it out!

Two of the five events were decided with a tiebreaker! As much as I am a fan of the Bryan Brothers, it was great to see the team of Johnson/Huey pull out a win against these future hall-of-famers.

Because I only feature selected highlights, trying to spread out the “winners” evenly, most of the points are presented out of sequence. This is why I do not provide a running score for the competition. I am only trying to give you a taste of what it is like attending one of these events. In order to get the full experience, you REALLY have to come down and see the action LIVE and in person!

For information on next year’s season of Southern California’s World Team Tennis team, go to the official Orange County Breakers website to sign up for their e-mail list: BreakersTennis.com

Or, look for YOUR local team
on the official World Team Tennis website here: wtt.com

Be sure to share GroundsPass.net with your other Tennis Friends using the social networking buttons, below.

Subscribe for FREE to this site, my Twitter feed, and/or friend me on FaceBook.

I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

- Marcus Tennis

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