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October 25 • 01:52
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New Champion at USTA National 40 Hard Court Men's Singles Title at La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club

December 05, 2011
La Jolla, Calif. – (December 4, 2011) – A year can sometimes make all the difference between victory and defeat and that was certainly the case on Sunday afternoon at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

In a singles final featuring two former touring professionals, second-seeded Oren Motevassel of Sunnyvale, Calif., defeated defending champion and top-seed Jeff Tarango of Manhattan Beach, Calif., 6-4, 6-3, to win the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships men's singles title.

It was a year ago when these same two left-handed players met in the tournament final as Tarango dropped the first set of the 2010 title match before coming back to win the next two sets and capture the championship.

In this year's final, which was played on Court No. 1, Tarango and Motevassel each fought off break points early in the first set, but with the scored tied at 3-3, Tarango hit two straight double faults to lose serve and give Motevassel a 4-3 lead.

Two games later, Motevassel served for the set and at 40-15 Tarango smacked a crosscourt forehand long to give Motevassel the first set in 59 minutes.

Despite losing his serve to open the second set, Tarango came back to take a 2-1 lead but Motevassel, playing solid, steady tennis from the baseline broke Tarango twice and won four straight games to take a 5-2 lead.

Tarango got one of the breaks back when Motevassel's crosscourt forehand passing shot landed wide to make the score 5-3. As Tarango served to stay in the match and get back on serve, he fell behind 15-40 and faced two match points.

On the first match point, Tarango approached the net, but Motevassel responded with a near perfect lob which Tarango pushed wide with a high backhand to end the match in one-hour and 45 minutes.

After being awarded a USTA gold ball for winning the national championship, Motevassel spoke about the difference between losing last year's three-set final and winning the title this year.

"After last year I was kind of upset. I had the match. I was up a set and I was up a break. I just lost a little focus. I was playing too defensive from the back and allowed him (Tarango) to dictate. I played too tentative last year," he said.

"I was focused today. I had a good game plan and it worked fine," Motevassel said. "I took the ball a little earlier. I put him on the defense more. Getting the ball more on the rise helped me a lot today."

Motevassel plans to return to the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club to defend his title next year. "I plan to come back. I like coming here. It's a nice place and a good venue. It's fun to play here," he said.

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club enjoys a 75-year tradition of hosting tennis tournaments and tennis pros from around the world. Tennis legends who have played at the LJB&TC include Pancho Gonzales, Jack Kramer, Ted Schroeder, Maureen Connolly, Billie Jean King, Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, Roscoe Tanner, and John McEnroe.

About the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Inc. – One of California's most treasured beachfront resorts for more than 75 years, the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club is a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated company dedicated to the operation of a 14-acre beachside resort. The resort includes three properties, including the exclusive La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, the 128-room La Jolla Shores Hotel and landmark Marine Room restaurant. Resort amenities include 14 championship tennis courts, a nine-hole Par-3 golf course, two swimming pools, two additional oceanfront restaurants and cocktail lounges, and one of Southern California's only private beaches. For more information visit

USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships

La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

La Jolla, Calif.

Surface: Hard

Men's Singles


Oren Motevassel (2), Sunnyvale, Calif., def. Jeffrey Tarango (1), Manhattan Beach, Calif., 6-4, 6-3

Media Contacts:

J. Fred Sidhu Lindsey Suda, Marketing Coordinator

(619) 507-6943 (c) La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club Inc.

(619) 282-5706 (o) (858) 551-4639

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