Faillas win father-daughter national tennis championship

Greg Failla and his daughter, Jessica, hold up their awards after winning the USTA national father-daughter tennis championships. Photo courtesy of the Failla family
Greg Failla and his daughter, Jessica, hold up their awards after winning the USTA national father-daughter tennis championships. Photo courtesy of the Failla family

Ramona’s Greg and Jessica Failla won the United States Tennis Association’s National Father-Daughter tournament held recently at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego.

“To win a national championship is incredible,” said Greg, who noted that his 16-year-old daughter began playing tennis when she was 2 years old. “It’s an amazing time together.”

Jessica played on the Ramona High School girls varsity tennis team in the fall and won a CIF individual championship. Both her dad and her mom, Katrina, won CIF individual tennis championships in the 1980s.

In the May 30 through June 1 tournament that drew participants from all over the U.S., Greg and Jessica battled their way to the finals where they beat the Disbergen father/ daughter team from Florida after scores of 6-4, 5-7 and 6-4. The Faillas said it was their toughest match.

“I love playing with my dad and he’s really good so I have confidence in him,” said Jessica.

Greg equally had high praise for his daughter.

It wasn’t the first time they competed together. Katrina said her husband and daughter have played as partners since Jessica was 11 or 12.

“For him, it was just so exciting,” Katrina said of winning the tournament. “He wanted to win it so bad for my daughter.”

Each received an award with a small gold ball in a framed glass box.

Jessica said the tournament has given her memories to last a lifetime. Those memories include stopping play during a set when a “huge black cloud came over the court.”

Once the swarm of bees left, play resumed but several bees hung around, she said.

Jessica has committed to play tennis for the University of Southern California after she graduates next year.

—Karen Brainard

   
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