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125th Annual Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship almost washed away in rain

2014 Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Champions, Gustavo Gonzalez (left) and Bojan Szumanski.
Fred Sidhu

The tournament played 97 matches on the final day of action after multiple rain delays over the weekend, before Rice University's Gonzalez and Szumanski ended up capturing the title.

This year’s Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championship will go down in history as a tournament to remember. The tennis championship not only celebrated its 125th anniversary, it battled stormy weather throughout the weekend before crowning a new champion late Sunday night.

Rain forced postponement of the majority of matches on Friday and Saturday at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. On Sunday morning, with 97 matches still to be played, rain delayed the start of play for two hours. Only once in the 124 previous years had the tournament not been completed. The event was cancelled in 1981 due to heavy rain.

Tournament officials were determined to get this year’s championship completed. To help finish the tournament on time, 8-game pro sets were used through the quarterfinals and 6-game pros sets were played in the semifinals and final.

In the end, shortly after 8:30 p.m. (PST) on Sunday evening, the Rice University doubles team of Gustavo Gonzalez and assistant coach Bojan Szumanski defeated Filip Bergevi and Mads Engsted of Cal-Berkeley, 7-6 (4) in the final to win the title.

“It’s definitely an honor. It’s feels great since I normally don’t play doubles. Playing with my coach helped a lot,” Gonzalez said after the match. “Mentally in the tiebreak we were pretty tired, but we came through. We’re really happy about it.”

Gonzalez and Szumanski, who were seeded eighth, defeated 2nd seeded Connor Farren and Robbie Bellamy of USC, 6-4 in the semifinals to reach the final round.

“It was pretty amazing that we were able to finish it and it was an incredibly exciting day of tennis. With our shortened match formats, we got to see so many different players in such a short time,” said Tournament Director Bill Kellogg.

“The caliber of tennis was spectacular. It’s just a great tournament. The 125th edition has turned out to be special and memorable and we’re already looking forward to next year,” Kellogg added.

Named “Club of the Year” for 2011 by the San Diego District Tennis Association and one of the “Top 50
Tennis Resorts in the World” by Tennis Resorts Online, the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club's reputation as
a top tennis destination started when it attracted its first major tournament – the Pacific Coast Men's
Doubles Championship in 1942. The tournament is one of the five-oldest tennis events in the world and
the second oldest tennis event in the United States. First held in 1890 at The Hotel Del Monte in
Monterey, California, the event was created to promote the sale of real estate on the Monterey peninsula.
The original concept pitted the best players from the East versus those from the West. This coast-to-coast
rivalry was the inspiration for the Davis Cup. Past winners of the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles
Championship include Jack Kramer, Ted Schroeder, Bobby Riggs, Pancho Segura, Don Budge, Tony
Trabert, Stan Smith, Bob Lutz, Arthur Ashe, Dennis Ralston, John McEnroe, and many other world-class
champions.

The Club will also be hosting the USTA National Hard Court Championships for Women’s 50-90 age groups and La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club Hard Court Tournament for Men’s 60-85 age groups on Monday, May 12, through Sunday, May 18.

About the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Inc. – La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club is a fourth-generation, family owned and operated company dedicated to the operation of a 14-acre beachside resort. The resort includes three properties, including the exclusive La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, the 128-room La Jolla Shores Hotel and the award-winning Marine Room restaurant. Resort amenities include 14 championship tennis courts, a nine-hole Par-3 golf course, two swimming pools, two additional oceanfront restaurants and cocktail lounges, and one of Southern California’s only private beaches. For more information visit www.LJBTC.com.