Nearly 200 play in Fallbrook Open

Nearly 200 tennis players participated in the 39th annual Fallbrook Open tournament June 1-2 and June 8-9 at the Fallbrook Tennis Club.

“The tournament went well. There was a lot of participation,” said tournament organizer Dorothy Roth.

“Very few problems at all. It was a good atmosphere and great community support.”

Proceeds from the tournament are donated to the Boys and Girls Club. Historically approximately $5,000 is donated each year. “We’re very grateful to the sponsors who step up to the plate,” Roth said. “Without them we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

The sponsorship allows for prize money in certain divisions, although the amateur status of the two Women’s Open Singles finalists meant that former Fallbrook High School teammates Monica Robinson and Hailey Johnson received expenses only. “This year we didn’t spend as much in prize money as we normally do,” Roth said.

Robinson, who graduated from Oasis High School this year and signed a letter of intent to play tennis at the University of Notre Dame, won the Women’s Open Singles title by defeating Johnson in 6-2 and 6-3 sets. Johnson, the division’s defending champion, graduated from Oasis in 2011 and is on the University of Arizona college team.

[The CIF San Diego Section has a “Multi-School Teams Status” policy which allows athletes from certain schools to play for a specified other team; an independent study or other specialized school (other than a continuation school) affiliated with a comprehensive public school may lead to unified status for the comprehensive and alternative schools. Oasis students can participate in Fallbrook High School athletics].

The Fallbrook Open is an adult-level tournament which is also open to juniors. Johnson won the Women’s Open Singles title in 2010 as a high school junior as well as in 2012, and in 2010 Johnson also partnered with Fallbrook High School girls tennis coach Dave Ramirez to win the Mixed Open Doubles division.

Robinson and Johnson each won once and lost once in division finals during this year’s Fallbrook Open. The Mother-Daughter Doubles championship was decided by Linda and Hailey Johnson winning a pair of 6-4 sets against Daisy and Monica Robinson.

Linda Johnson and Daisy Robinson were partners in the Women’s 3.5 Doubles division, although that division had a round-robin format and the championship went to Temecula players Pam Ricci and Shirley Landers.

Five other divisions also had round-robin play. Fallbrook’s Jim and Jean Dooley were the Mixed 3.5 Doubles champions; Fallbrook’s Kent Stevenson teamed with Eric Hartman of Oceanside for the Men’s 2.5 Doubles title; Temecula’s Sanjay Nagpal and Murrieta’s Aaron Willits took first place in the Men’s Open Doubles; Temecula’s Mary Ann Neder won the Women’s 3.5 Singles championship; and San Diego’s Robert Royden captured the Men’s 70 Singles division.

Ramirez, who is also the Fallbrook Tennis Club pro, reached the finals of the Men’s Open Singles but lost a pair of 6-0 sets to Chula Vista’s Xavier Smith in the championship match.

In addition to the sponsorship of several local businesses, the support from Fallbrook’s business community also included the participation of Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Richard Kennedy. Kennedy partnered with Fallbrook’s Michael Mareschal in the Men’s 4.5 Doubles division; in the finals Temecula’s Robert Bryant and Menifee’s Pat Leffard defeated Kennedy and Mareschal in 6-4 and 7-5 sets.

(Kennedy’s predecessor as the chamber CEO, Bob Leonard, played in the Men’s 2.5 Doubles division.)

The tournament’s only three-set final was in the Mixed 4.0 Doubles division. The match involved Temecula players Ignacio Medina and Lorraine Rossberg against Oceanside’s Edward Kardas and Rancho Santa Fe’s Barbara Roorda. The first set was tied at six games apiece, triggering a tiebreaking game to seven points.

Medina and Rossberg took a 7-5 victory in the tiebreaker to capture the first set. Kardas and Roorda responded with a 7-5 triumph in the second set. Medina and Rossberg prevailed by a 6-4 score in the third set to earn the division title.

Fallbrook’s Caron Lieber and Temecula’s Terry DeCarl won the Women’s 4.0 Doubles championship by taking the tiebreaker in the second set. Their finals match against Fallbrook’s Harriet Isaac and Temecula’s Debbie L’heureux began with a 6-1 victory. After each duo won six games in the second set, Lieber and DeCarl prevailed in a 7-3 tiebreaking game.

Fallbrook residents Brenda Fields and Cherie Van Wechel won the Women’s 4.5 Doubles championship by taking a pair of 6-4 sets from Rossberg and Temecula’s Josie Hendrix in the finals.

Temecula’s Jim Cunningham had a pair of 6-2 victories in the finals against Peter Soria of Encinitas to win the Men’s 65 Singles title. Murrieta’s Marc Guzman defeated San Diego’s Philip Nguyen in 6-0 and 6-2 sets in the Men’s 4.5 Singles championship match. Vista’s Debbie Lowerison won the Women’s 4.0 Singles division with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph in the championship match against Rebecca O’Neill of Winchester.

The Men’s 4.0 Singles title was earned by Scott Atwood of El Cajon, who won the finals against San Diego’s Xin Zhou by a 7-5, 6-3 score. Philip Te of San Diego defeated Carlsbad’s Joseph Ray in 6-2 and 6-4 sets to win the Men’s 3.5 Singles final. In the Father-Son Doubles championship match Humberto and Humberto Lopez of National City won 6-0 and 6-2 against Sanjay and Nikhil Nagpal.

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