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December 11 • 02:07
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Women's 50s Singles Semifinals at USTA National Senior Women's Hard Court Tennis Championships



May 18, 2012
Third-seeded Tracy Houk Ousts Defending Champ Frances Chandler in Women's 50s Singles Semifinals at USTA National Senior Women's Hard Court Tennis Championships

Top Seed Ros Nideffer Will Face Houk in Women's 50s Final Scheduled For Friday at 10 a.m.

La Jolla, Calif. - (May 17, 2012) – Third-seeded Tracy Houk of Half Moon Bay, Calif., playing with fierce determination and tenacity, ousted defending champion Frances Chandler of Jackson, Tenn., 6-4, 6-0, in the Women's 50s division semifinals of the USTA National Senior Women's Hard Court Tennis Championships.

A year ago, Houk reached the Women's 50 singles final where she lost to Chandler, 6-2, 6-3, but on a breezy, mostly sunny Thursday afternoon on Court No. 2 at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, she outlasted the steady-playing Chandler in one-hour and 40 minutes.

Chandler and Houk exchanged service breaks early in the first set of their semifinal match, but at 3-3, Chandler was broken and Houk held serve to take a 5-3 lead. Chandler, who was seeded second, held her serve in the next game to close the gap to 5-4.

Houk then served for the first set but fell behind 15-40 and with two break point opportunities Chandler looked poised to break serve to tie the set score. However, Houk fought off both break points and went on to hold serve and close out the first set.

The first game of the second set proved to be the turning point of the match as Houk scored a key service break after winning an extended 16-point game. That was all Houk needed as she reeled off the next five consecutive games to win the match.

The victory was especially gratifying for Houk, who has played against Chandler since their days in the 30 and over Nationals. Houk said even though they've taken turns winning matches against each other, Chandler has had the upper hand in their last few matches.

Houk credited her tenacity and fitness for helping her win their latest match. "No matter what the score is, I play each point like it was the last," she said. "I just dig in deep and play every point as hard as I can."

After losing last year's final to Chandler, Houk felt she needed to work on getting more physically fit. "I just needed to get in better physical shape. I knew I could mentally do it, but I needed to be more physically fit," she said. "I came in here (this year) a lot more fit."

The 50-year-old Houk advances to this year's Women's 50 singles final, where she will play top-seeded Ros Nideffer, a former touring tennis professional, on Friday at 10 a.m. (PDT).

Nideffer, a resident of the San Diego community of Rancho Bernardo, defeated fourth-seeded Mariana Hollman of Winston Salem, N.C., 6-4, 6-1, to reach the singles final against Houk.

A two-time Wimbledon singles quarterfinalist and a two-time French Open doubles champion, Nideffer was once ranked as high as No. 15 in the world.

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club's 40th Annual Spring Senior Championships for men are also taking place the same week in conjunction with the women's events. Although the men's events are not national championships, they will feature many senior players who regularly compete in national tournaments. The men's events will include singles and doubles for 60 and over, 65 and over, 70 and over, 75 and over and 80 and over age groups. A combined total of over 300 players are participating in the men's and women's tournaments.

Women's championship finals will take place on Friday, May 18.. Men's championship finals will be played on Saturday, May 19. Men's and women's consolation finals will be played on Sunday, May 20.

Admission to the week-long tournament is free and open to the public. A snack bar and dining facility will be available to spectators. On-site parking will also be available for a nominal fee. Draws will be posted at the Beach Club and will be available at following link: http://tennislink.usta.com/TOURNAMENTS/TournamentHome_New/Tournament.aspx?T=113672

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club started each of these events and has hosted them since inception. Designated one of the Top 50 Tennis Resorts in the world by Tennis Resorts Online, the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club's reputation as a top tennis destination started in 1942 when it attracted its first major tournament, the Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship. The Club's staff includes Director of Tennis Conan Lorenzo and a variety of experienced United States Professional Tennis Association pros who offer a full range of lessons, clinics, camps and services.

In addition to hosting the USTA National Senior Women's Hard Court Tennis Championships, the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club also hosts the USTA National Men's & Women's 40 & Over Hard Courts, and the USTA National Father & Son Hard Court Championships, scheduled for November 26 – December 2, 2012.

About the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Inc.

A cherished beachfront resort 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 the historic Marine Room restaurant. Resort amenities include 14 championship tennis courts, a nine-hole Par-3 golf course, heated swimming pool, two additional oceanfront restaurants and cocktail lounges, and one of Southern California's only private beaches. For more information visit www.LJBTC.com.

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USTA National Senior Women's Hard Court Tennis Championships

May 14-20, 2012

La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

La Jolla, Calif.

J. Fred Sidhu

(619) 282-5706 -- Office

(619) 507-6943 -- Cell

Twitter: @JFredSidhu

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