IB Tennis Player Overcomes Tough Second-Round in USTA National Open Hard Court Championship

Emmanuel Mensah. Photo Courtesy: Balboa Tennis Club
Emmanuel Mensah. Photo Courtesy: Balboa Tennis Club
Third-seeded Emmanuel Mensah of Imperial Beach, reached the third-round of the United States Tennis Association National Open Hard Court Championships as he fended off unseeded Kimo Barrere of Poway, 6-3, 6-3, in an entertaining match at the Balboa Tennis Club on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old Barrere, who plays an aggressive baseline game, matched the 25-year- old Mensah stroke for stroke at the beginning of the match on Court No. 8, but was eventually worn down by his older opponent.
“I have to give some credit to my opponent. He’s young and was hitting winners. I was just hanging in there, playing point by point and having fun,” said Mensah, a native of Ghana who came to the United States in 2001.
A local tennis teaching professional, Mensah is currently the number one ranked Men’s Open Singles player in San Diego and the number seven ranked player in Southern California. He describes himself as an all-court player who can serve and volley, chip and charge the net or stay and rally from the baseline.
Mensah, who played collegiate tennis for Western New Mexico University during the 2010-2011 season, is competing in the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships for the first time and is excited about the opportunity to win a gold ball.
“It’s a big tournament. There are a lot of good players. (Winning a gold ball) would be very close to winning a gold medal at the Olympics,” he said with a laugh. “I would be happy to win it. I’m going to have fun and take it match by match.”    
Second-seeded Deiton Baughman, of Carson, cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 second-round victory over unseeded Paarth Dodhiawala of Chino Hills.  He is scheduled to play unseeded Brett Van Linge, of San Luis Obispo, in a third-round match at noon on Wednesday. 
The 18-year-old Baughman, currently ranked 1029 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings, has played on the USTA Pro Circuit this year, winning a doubles title at the $10,000 Vespan Tennis Futures in Boynton Beach, Fla., in February.
In the women’s draw, top-seeded Trang Huynh, of Westminster, withdrew from the tournament due to an injury. Huynh, the number one ranked Women’s Open Singles player in Southern California, received a first-round bye and was scheduled to play a second-round match against unseeded Cyndee Wilkinson of St. George, Utah, who now advances to the third round.
The USTA National Open Hard Court Championships offer singles and doubles draws in men’s and women’s divisions as well as mixed doubles. Matches begin at 9 a.m. (PDT) each day of the tournament. The event concludes Sunday, June 8, with the women’s singles final, followed by the men’s singles final.  
Admission for spectators is free and open to the public. On-site parking at the Balboa Tennis Club is free.

For draws of all divisions and complete scores and results, please go to:  tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=138230
The winners of each division will be awarded a USTA gold ball, while the runner-up will be awarded a USTA silver ball. There will also be a 3rd/4th place playoff for the USTA bronze ball.  All draws offer consolation events.
The USTA National Open Hard Court Championships was voted, “2011 Tournament of the Year” by the San Diego District Tennis Association. Past tournament champions include current American stars Jack Sock and Coco Vandeweghe and former touring tennis professionals Gretchen Magers, Rosalyn Nideffer and Allison Bradshaw.  

—Balboa Tennis Club


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