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Di Giulio a champion

Tennis

Newport Beach resident wins third straight tournament, claims Ojai 14s title at Libbey Park.

April 26, 2014|By Matt Szabo
(Courtesy of the…)

OJAI — Austin Di Giulio waited and waited Saturday afternoon. Then, he waited some more.

The 14-year-old from Newport Beach was scheduled to play in the Ojai Tennis Tournament boys' 14s championship match at noon at Libbey Park. That became 2 p.m. when his finals opponent, Gavin Dail of North Hollywood, had a lengthy semifinal match Saturday morning.

Then, that became 3:30 p.m. as each of the four courts on Upper Libbey had marathon matches of their own.

Di Giulio ultimately didn't mind. Winning at "The Ojai" is definitely worth the wait.

The No. 2-seeded Di Giulio topped No. 9-seeded Dail to win the title at the 114th annual event, 6-0, 6-3.

"It's a really big tournament, so I'm really happy about [winning]," Di Giulio said. "It's an honor to be put on the list of all of those top players. There's a lot of players that have won Grand Slams, and my name's going to be on that list."

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Later Saturday, Di Giulio's older brother Joseph, a freshman at UCLA, tried to help the Bruins win the Pac-12 Conference men's team title at Libbey Park. Di Giulio and partner Clay Thompson fell in doubles but the Bruins beat USC, 4-2, to win their second straight Pac-12 title. Gage Brymer, a University High graduate who won his third straight CIF singles division title last year at The Ojai, contributed a singles win for UCLA.

University senior Drew Dawson, meanwhile, was denied his own shot at history by the smallest of margins. Dawson and partner Arash Hafezi fell to the Palos Verdes tandem of Boston College-bound senior Kent Mukai and sophomore Brandon Holt in the CIF doubles title match, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5. The Notre Dame-bound Dawson was trying to become the first person to win three CIF doubles titles at The Ojai since Charles Rogers of Los Angeles High in 1907-09.

In other action, Orange Coast College's women's doubles team of Hali Dickson and Nikki Thornburg advanced to the semifinals of the California Community College Championships. Dickson and Thornburg, the No. 2 seeds, topped No. 3-seeded Chelsea Corby and Suzanne Lin of Diablo Valley, 6-3, 6-3.

Dickson and Thornburg play the top-seeded team of Stephanie Ramos and Jacquelin Ward of Sierra in the semifinals, at 8 a.m. Sunday at Libbey Park South. The championship match is at 3 p.m. at Libbey Park.

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