COAST CITIES — Two players in their 40s, who still love the thrill of competing on a tennis court, won singles titles at the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club Dec. 7.
Third-seeded Dina McBride of Stevenson Ranch, captured the women’s singles championship with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over top-seeded Jennifer Dawson of Carlsbad.
Playing on Court No. 1, the 43-year-old McBride, a teaching professional in Valencia, took the opening set over Dawson in 30 minutes and would go on to build a commanding 5-0 lead in the second set on her way to winning the title.
In 2011, McBride lost the singles final to Dawson when she had to retire due to a leg injury in the first set. She came back to win the championship in 2012 with a victory over former touring professional Ros Nideffer in the final. This year, McBride overcame an injury early in the tournament.
“I won it on just faith and believing. Coming in I felt great, but I got injured in the first round and didn’t think I was going to be able to pull through. I just took it one match at a time,” said McBride.“Every year, you never know how you’re going to feel. I had to seize the moment because these opportunities don’t come around too often. I love tennis. I love the game and I love competing. It’s just fun.”
In the men’s championship, second-seeded Tony Bujan of Tustin, successfully defended his singles title by defeating top-seeded Oren Motevassel of San Jose, 6-2, 6-4.
Bujan, a 44-year-old Orange County-based teaching professional, won the first set in 65 minutes and broke the 47-year-old Motevassel, a former two-time tournament champion, in the opening game of the second set. Bujan went on to win the match holding each of his second-set service games with the loss of only four points.
“It just feels great to play well. I love playing and I love competing. Tennis has done so much for me,” Bujan said. “He (Motevassel) doesn’t overpower you, but he doesn’t miss. He’s crafty with his backhand. I just tried to stay aggressive and dictate and keep him off-balance.”
Bujan and McBride were awarded USTA gold balls for winning national titles.
For complete final tournament scores, results and draws for each division, visit