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Motevassal Defends Title at National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla

Matches will begin at 8 a.m., Tuesday and run through Friday. The weekend’s schedule on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 9 a.m. The women’s singles final will be played on Saturday, while the men’s singles final will take place on Sunday.

Oren Motevassel. Photo Courtesy: USTA
Oren Motevassel. Photo Courtesy: USTA
Top-seeded Oren Motevassel of San Jose will begin the defense of his singles title at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National 40 Hard Court Championships at 9 a.m. (PST) on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Motevassel, the two-time defending singles champion, received a first-round bye and will play Frank Grannis of San Diego in a second-round match at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. Grannis, who captured California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) San Diego Section singles titles in 1982 and 1984, won his first-round match over Richard Cohen of Philadelphia by default.

“It feels great to be back. This is my favorite tournament of the year. I love coming back. It’s like a vacation / tournament,” said the 46-year-old Motevassel, who played on the men’s professional tennis tour for 15 years and was ranked as high at 161 in the world before retiring in 2001.

Motevassel has been battling tennis elbow in his left elbow since January. He took a total of five months off from tennis earlier this year and has not played a tournament in six weeks prior to this week’s event at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

“This year is special for me even more so because it’s almost like a comeback tournament,” Motevassel said. “I’m healed and ready to go again. It’s a manageable situation right now. I’m excited. If I don’t get injured, I should be good.” 

Should Motevassel capture his third straight USTA National 40 Hard Court title this week, he would become the first player to accomplish the feat since Peter Smith of Long Beach, Calif. won titles from 2005 to 2007. Smith is the current men’s head tennis coach at the University of Southern California,

Women’s defending champion Dina McBride, of Valencia, also received a first-round bye and will play Mariko Atoji of San Diego in a second-round match at 9 a.m. (PST) on Tuesday

McBride, a former college standout at the University of San Diego in the mid-1990s, is seeded second behind top-seeded Sophie Woorons-Johnson of Anderson, S.C.

Matches will begin at 8 a.m. (PST) Tuesday, Dec. 3 through Friday, Dec. 6. The weekend’s schedule on Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8 will begin at 9 a.m. (PST). The women’s singles final will be played on Saturday, while the men’s singles final will take place on Sunday.

The tournament, which includes former touring professionals and the nation’s strongest players in the 40 and over age group, will also feature men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles events for players 40 and over.

Also on the agenda of the seven-day event is the USTA National Father and Son and Grandfather and Grandson Hard Court Doubles Championships beginning Friday, Dec. 6, with matches concluding on Sunday, Dec. 8. 

The Father and Son championship has been held continuously at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club since 1959, and attracts the top father and son tennis teams in the nation.  The Grandfather/Grandson event is a relatively new competitive division that started at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club just a few years ago.

La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club welcomes tennis spectators to view the tournament with free admission. On-site parking is available for a nominal fee. For a list of seeded players and tournament draws, please click here.

—United States Tennis Association

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