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Dawson takes women's Hard Court title

December 5, 2011 11:35 AM
Jennifer Dawson of Carlsbad, Calif.
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
La Jolla, Calif. – Second-seeded Jennifer Dawson of Carlsbad, who lost in last year’s singles final of the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships, came back to win the title this year when her opponent, Dina McBride of Woodland Hills, Calif., retired at 3-3 in the first set of their final due to a left Achilles tendon injury.
On a cool and mostly sunny morning at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Dawson and McBride began their highly-anticipated championship singles match on Court No. 1.
McBride, a former collegiate player at the University of San Diego in the mid-1990s, scored an impressive 6-4, 6-1 semi-final victory over Gretchen Magers, the top seed and five-time tournament champion. Dawson,who also played for USD from 1985 to 1989, is a teaching pro at the nearby La Jolla Tennis Club and had a large group of vocal supporters watching her match.
In what was an entertaining start to the first set, Dawson and McBride moved each other around the court as each player patiently waited for an opportunity to advance to the net to put the ball away. With McBride serving at 2-2, 30-40, Dawson scored the first service break of the match when McBride’s backhand slice drop shot clipped the tape and fell back onher side of the court.
McBride quickly came back with her own service break to tie the score at 3-3 as Dawson sent a shot wide on break point. In the next game, McBride served at 30-30, but after losing the next point, she was forced to stop and retire from the match due to her injury.
"It’s feels great to win it, but I wish I could have won it in a real match, rather than by an injury. You’re happy, but kind of sad at the same time because you really want to earn that. It’s a little bittersweet," said Dawson following the match, which lasted just 30 minutes.
Coming into the final, Dawson anticipated a difficult match against McBride. "I knew it was going to be a tough match. She’s a very good player," Dawson said. "I was just planning on hitting a lot of balls and doing a lot of running and hitting and just battling through it. I expected it to be a long match."
At the post-match presentation, Dawson was awarded a USTA gold ball for winning the national championship. "It’s always an honor toget a gold ball. It’s not easy to come by," she said.

USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

La Jolla, Calif.
Surface: Hard
Women’s Singles

Jennifer Dawson (2),Carlsbad, Calif., def.  Dina McBride,Woodland Hills, Calif., 3-3, ret.
Women's Doubles

Alissa Finerman, SantaMonica, Calif., and Erika Smith, Oakland (2), def.  Gretchen Magers, San Diego, and Ros Nideffer,Poway  (1),  6-4, 6-3


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