La Jolla, CA–Second-seeded Charleen Hillebrand of Long Beach took 40 minutes to dispatch top-seeded Catherine Anderson of Del Mar, 6-0, 6-1 to capture the USTA National Women’s Senior Hard Court 80 and over the singles title at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.
On a cool, overcast day, the 80-year-old Hillebrand used a steady baseline game to dominate the 80s singles final from start to finish. She lost five points in winning the first set in 19 minutes.
The top-seeded Anderson held serve in the fourth game of the second set. However, Hillebrand, who has represented the United States in the international team competition on more than 30 occasions since 1992, quickly regained the momentum and won the next three games to close out the match and successfully defend the 80 and over hard court singles title she won last year.
“This victory means a lot because I had not been playing well. I had a such long layoff because of COVID. I won this last year and didn’t play again the rest of the year,” said Hillebrand. “I’ve been struggling, so it was really nice to come out and play my game.”
Following her victory, tournament officials presented Hillebrand with a USTA gold ball for winning the national championship. It marked the 132nd gold ball of her illustrious senior tennis career.
The USTA National Women’s Senior Hard Court Championships will conclude Sunday with Consolation singles and doubles matches beginning on Sunday.