By SDCN Editor
La Jolla, CA–Top-seeded Henry Choi finished an amazing week at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club by defeating second-seeded Wojtek Bratek of San Antonio 6-1, 7-6 (5) in one-hour and 50 minutes to win the USTA National 40 Hard Court Men’s Singles title.
Choi, a 41-year-old resident of Vancouver, Canada, controlled the tempo of the opening set as he broke Bratek’s serve three times to take a 5-1 lead. Choi served out the set in the seventh game when he hit a backhand volley winner on his first set point.
Bratek, a native of Germany who reached last year’s single semifinals, raised the level of his game in the second set and stayed even with the top-seed through 12 games, sending the set to a deciding tiebreaker.
Choi quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak, but Bratek put together a furious comeback and won five straight points for a 5-3 lead.
Just when it looked like the 45-year-old Bratek would send the match to a third set, Choi mounted a spirited comeback of his own and won the last four points of the tiebreak to seal the match and win the championship.
“It feels amazing. I honestly didn’t have the expectation to win because of injuries here and there. The conditions were a little tough for me, but I kept fighting and trying to win one round at a time and it ended up happening. I’m very thankful,” Choi said after being presented his USTA Gold Ball for winning the national title.
“I had a little more rhythm in the first set than he (Bratek) did, but he started to get more comfortable in the second set and I kind of took my foot off the pedal a little bit,” Choi added. “It was tight, but when it got to the tiebreaker, I was able to dig just a bit deeper.”
In the Men’s Doubles Championship, the second-seeded team of Trent Miller of San Diego and Nik Yip of Denver defeated No. 5 seeds Choi and Josh Basha of Mountlake Terrace, Wash., 6-4, 6-0 to win the title.
Designated one of the Top 100 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 will be hosting the 133rd edition of this popular tournament March 2-5, 2023, as well as both the USTA National Hard Court Championships for Women’s 50-90 age groups and the 50th annual Men’s Senior Championships May 15-21, 2023.