Posts Tagged ‘Javier Pulgar’

2012 La Habra Open II

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Hey Tennis Friends!

Here’s the continuation of my post from one of my local tennis venues that had its 25th annual USTA sanctioned Open event. What follows is my comprehensive press coverage, as well as my video report, from the final day of the event known as the La Habra Open Tennis Championships.


By Marcus Tennis

LA HABRA, CA., (Nov. 25, 2012) – The cool morning temperatures soon faded as the courts heated up at the 2012 La Habra Open Tennis Championships. Now in its twenty-fifth year, this tournament has been a regular event for top college players who have come home for the Thanksgiving holiday, or, have a few days off from school, and can’t resist the urge to compete.

The men’s Open semifinals began at 10:00am on the two main showcase courts, and could not have offered any better entertainment for the small, but mighty, crowd.

Number three seeded Javier Pulgar, a SDSU student from Spain, had his hands full with USTA Futures veteran Tim Kpulun, of Sierra Leon. At the end of a very tightly contested first set, Pulgar would pull away with a 7-5 squeaker.

Sierra Leon’s Tim Kpulun serves during a semifinal match in the Men’s Open division at the 2012 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Kpulun was not deterred, as he continued to run Pulgar around the court with drop shots, deep lobs, and wide angles. The first game of the second set lasted over eight minutes! Pulgar would continue to defend his ground, mixing up his own game, enough to take the second set 6-4, and move into the championship round.

West Covina’s Ernesto Escobedo had his work cut out for him in the other semifinal. The sixteen year old, who last year won the boy’s 14s at the Easter Bowl National Championships, was up against the number one seed, Dennis Novikov.

Escobedo nearly took the first set from Novikov, a SoCal transplant, born in Russia, who won his first Grand Slam singles and doubles matches at this year’s U.S. Open. Escobedo was up 6-5, but, Novikov was able to bring it to a tiebreak, where he out gunned the stand-out junior to win the first set.

The second set was a strong one for Escobedo. He was able to stem the tide of Novikov’s momentum, stay solid, and pull out a 6-3 win over last year’s runner-up.

In the third, and deciding set, much like his quarterfinal match yesterday, Novikov was able to turn on the heat when it came down to the wire. He blasted through the flailing Escobedo to take the third set, and his spot in the championship round against Javier Pulgar, 6-1.

The women’s Open championship round followed, featuring Anaheim’s Elizabeth Ferris, the number one seed, against last year’s runner-up, Japan’s Rio Kitagawa.

Elizabeth Ferris goes for the backhand shot during the championship match in the Women’s Open division at the 2012 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Ferris came out solid, but not necessarily strong, versus Kitagawa’s aggressive play. Most of the time Kitagawa was a little too aggressive, as her unforced errors allowed Ferris to even the score over and over again. A few of the points became an exchange of offensive and defensive lobs. High kicking top spin lobs threw both players back against the fence a couple of times, as they were running out of court to chase them down. Ultimately, it was Kitagawa who was able to stabilize her game and take the first set, 6-3.

By the time the second set rolled around, Ferris never made enough adjustments for the comfortable game plan that Kitagawa had settled into. “I was playing better than yesterday. I started better, so I could finish easier”, recalled Kitagawa, who confidently finished the second set, 6-3.

A strong backhand was one of the keys in Rio Kitagawa’s championship win in the Women’s Open division at the 2012 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

Winning the championship, after being a runner-up last year, was a breakthrough for the Ojai resident, “I didn’t play a lot of tournaments this year, but, I think my mental (game) is getting better. Because I don’t play a lot, I have to think about (my game) more. I guess my mental is tougher than last year.”

Her mental toughness will be tested right away, as she leaves tomorrow, for a clay court Pro Circuit Futures event in Antalya-Kaya-Belek,Turkey.

Javier Pulgar won the the Men’s Open division at the 2012 La Habra Open Tennis Championships.

The much anticipated men’s Open singles championship match was, apparently, not to be this year. Finalist Dennis Novikov defaulted his final match, due to illness, leaving Javier Pulgar to pick up the championship title and prize money, without playing a championship point. “It’s too bad that we didn’t have a final, but, I’m happy about the money!”, exclaimed a somewhat jubilant Pulgar.

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

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. Unfortunately, after winning his semifinal, Dennis Novikov did not make it to the championship round, because of the official reason of: illness.

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

Rio Kitagawa d. Elizabeth Ferris 6-3, 6-3

Amit Inbar / Bianca Aboubakare
d. Ryan Stotland / Natalia Toporowska 6-3, 6-3

Out of respect for Tennis Friend Amit Inbar’s fiancee, I would like clarify that when he mentioned that he and his tennis partner, Bianca, “live together”, he meant that they are roommates 🙂

Amit Inbar / Bianca Aboubakare
d. Jonathan Sanchez / Bettina Radke (walkover – withdrawal)

Javier Pulgar d. Dennis Novikov (walkover – illness)

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

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

La Habra Tennis Center

Be sure to share 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

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)