Men’s and Women’s Open Finals Today at The Ojai

The Men’s and Women’s Open divisions take center stage at Libbey Park during Championship Sunday at the 122nd Ojai Tennis Tournament, where San Diego resident Chanel Simmonds and Santa Ana resident Alessandro Ventre will each be pursuing a pair of Ojai pro titles.

Open division championship play at Libbey Park opens at 9 a.m. with South African Simmonds chasing a three-peat in the women’s singles final. No. 1 seed and two-time defending Open singles champion Simmonds faces fellow San Diego resident Julia Ronney, who upended second-seeded Eduarda Piai, of Glendale, Calif., 6-4, 6-1, in a Saturday semifinal. Neither player has dropped a set through their first three matches in the 16-player draw, and Simmonds has only surrendered two games through six sets after ousting Sophie Suh, of Orange, Calif., 6-1, 6-0, in the other semifinal.

Simmonds has also reached the 1 p.m. Women’s Open doubles final while partnering with Rosemead, Calif. resident Makeilah Nepomuceno as the No. 4 seed. The pair knocked out Ronney and Lindsay Brown, 6-2, 6-4, on Saturday in a quarterfinal before recording a 6-1, 6-3 semifinal win over Suh and Rancho Palos Verdes resident Sage Loudon. Simmonds’ and Nepomuceno’s finals foe is No. 2 seed Piai and Newport Beach resident Lauren Friedman, which registered a 6-4, 2-6, 10-5 (third-set tiebreaker) semifinal triumph over Ojai resident Natalie Da Silveira and Goleta resident Shakhnoza Khatamova, the No. 3 seed and local rooting interest.

The Ojai’s Men’s Open Singles final pits fifth-seeded Ventre against unseeded Dylan Charlap, of Palos Verdes Estates on Libbey Park’s Court 1 at 10:30 a.m. Ventre defeated No. 6 seed Oscar Mequida Berg, of New Orleans, 6-2, 6-1, while Charlap dispatched Arin Pallegar (Granite Bay, Calif.), 6-4, 6-3, in Saturday’s semifinals. Neither player has dropped a set in the tournament and are vying for their first Ojai title.

Ventre is bidding for an Open division double as he and partner Victor Severo Castro, from Huntington Beach, advanced to the 2:30 p.m. doubles final from the 32-team draw and will meet No. 3 seed Clay Thompson, a UCLA alumnus from Venice, Calif., and Studio City, Calif. resident Alexander Sarkissian. The fourth-seeded Ventre and Castro won a Saturday quarterfinal – 6-1, 6-4 vs. No. 7 seed Morgan Mays and Florian Gruessing – and semifinal, 6-3, 7-5, against unseeded Garrett Patton and Mathew Berry. Thompson and Sarkissian breezed through their Saturday doubleheader, only dropping six games through straight-set victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals, including a 6-2, 6-0 semifinal win over Lucas Da Silveira and Luis Gastao.

The Ojai distributes equal prize money to its Open division champions and runners-up. Men’s and women’s singles champions and runners-up receive prizes of $4,000 and $2,000, respectively. The men’s and women’s doubles champions collect $1,600 per team, with $900 going to each runner-up team.

In 2016 Clay Thompson won The Ojai Men’s Open Doubles title. He’ll try and repeat the feat on Sunday at The Ojai.