It’s only fitting for a Trojan to march right in.
Which is exactly what Jessica Failla did Friday in beating fellow-American Ines Karmen Vias 6-1, 6-2 in the quarter-finals to advance to today’s semifinals of the $10,000 Encore FX Victoria International women’s tennis tournament at the Panorama Recreation Centre.
“I was born on the court,” said the USC Trojans player, who just completed her freshman year in the Pac-12 for the NCAA national top-20 tennis team.
Dad Greg Failla, a former U.S. junior Davis Cup team player, also was a Trojan. He was NCAA top-10 at Long Beach State before transferring to USC and later playing pro tennis. Jessica’s mom, Katrina, is also a former pro tennis player. Both of Jessica Failla’s parents are now tennis instructors.
“They understand everything about the sport and the process,” said the native of San Diego.
“I’m blessed because not every player gets to have that sort of background in the family.”
Failla has certainly put it to good use this week.
“Be consistent and aggressive,” she said of her hallmarks.
Top-seed Alexa Graham from Long Island, New York, an 18-year-old who played in the U.S. Open junior girls’ tournament last year, defeated Steffi Carruthers of Samoa 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in another quarter-final.
In the other quarter-finals: University of Michigan Wolverines freshman Katharine Fahey from New Jersey defeated Stacey Fung, a University of Washington Huskies freshman from West Vancouver, 6-3, 6-4; and Lorraine Guillermo, three times all-conference in her NCAA career at Pepperdine, beat Nicole Hoynaski of Australia 4-6, 7-2, 6-2.
Today’s semifinals feature Failla playing Graham and Fahey meeting Guillermo back-to-back beginning at 10:30 a.m. The final is Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Seating is court level and admission is free.
The doubles final was held Friday and it was an all-American affair with Guillermo and Kristina Smith beating Fahey and Victoria Flores 5-7, 6-1, 13-11.