Former WTA professional Ros Nideffer of San Diego (Rancho Bernardo) continued her dominance in the USTA National Women’s Senior 50-90 Hard Court Tennis Championships as she defeated second-seeded Andrea Rice of Bethesda, Md., 6-4, 6-4 to win the 50 and Over singles title for the fifth consecutive year.
Nideffer, who was seeded No. 1 this week, has won the USTA National 50 and Over Hard Court singles championship six times in the last seven years at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. She did not enter the event in 2013.
After winning her semifinal match on Thursday, Nideffer, a former two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, expected a tough match against Rice in the final. In their last meeting, Nideffer had to rally for a hard-fought 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory in the semifinals of the ITF Seniors World Individual Championships on clay in Miami Beach, Fla., last November.
Under cool and cloudy conditions on Friday, Rice and Nideffer played aggressively throughout the one-hour and 50-minute match as both competitors used a serve and volley game to get to the net and put away winners. After exchanging service breaks twice in the first set, Nideffer broke Rice for the third time in the tenth game to win the set in 48 minutes.
In the second set, Nideffer took a 5-3 lead and served for the match, but Rice broke back in the ninth game to close the margin to 5-4. However, the 57-year-old Nideffer came back and broke serve in the next game to clinch the championship.
“It feels really good because Andrea played really well today. It feels good that I was able to hang on and pull it out. I just told myself that I had to be aggressive,” Nideffer said following her USTA Gold Ball presentation. “This title ranks a bit higher because I’m getting older.”
Later in day, Nideffer added another USTA National title as she teamed with Debbie Spence-Nasim of Carlsbad, Calif., for a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Deborah Higa of Solana Beach, Calif., and Jami Jones of Del Mar, Calif., in the women’s 50 and Over doubles final.
Top-seeded and defending champion Susan Wright of Grand Junction, Colo., wrapped up the 60 and Over singles title as she overcame fifth-seeded Shannon Gordon-Carney of Saint Louis 6-3, 6-2. Wright dropped a total of 12 games in four matches on her way to winning the championship.
In the 70 and Over singles final, Brenda Carter, the top-seed from Charleston, S.C., defeated second-seeded Molly Hahn of Belmont, Mass., 7-5, 6-4 in one-hour and 47 minutes to successfully defend her title.
Saturday’s schedule will feature the 80 and Over singles championship between top-seed and defending champion Roz King of San Diego (Encanto) and second-seeded Dori Devries of Reno, Nev., at 10:30 a.m.
The top female tennis competitors (ages 50 to 90+) from across the United States are competing for USTA gold balls, which are awarded to national champions. Events in the national tennis tournament include singles and doubles in the 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 & over age divisions.
Women’s 50 Singles Championship
Ros Nideffer (1), San Diego, def. Andrea Rice (2), Bethesda, Md., 6-4, 6-4
Women’s 60 Singles Championship
Susan Wright (1), Grand Junction, Colo., def. Shannon Gordon-Carney (5), Saint Louis, 6-3, 6-2
Women’s 70 Singles Championship
Brenda Carter (1), Charleston, S.C., def. Molly Hahn (2), Belmont, Mass., 7-5, 6-4
Women’s 80 Singles Semifinals
Roz King (1), San Diego, def. Dorothy Wasser (5), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 6-2, 6-0
Dori Devries (2), Reno, Nev., def. Burnette Herrick (3), Tarboro, N.C., 6-2, 6-2
For complete scores and results, go to: