Garrido captures women's State singles title to complete undefeated season
Danielle Garrido of San Diego Mesa won an extremely tight first set on Sunday and went on to sweep No. 3 Clarissa Colling of Orange Coast 7-6 (7), 6-2 to claim the CCCAA Women's Tennis State singles title at the Ojai Tournament.
Garrido, the No. 1 seed from the South, is the second State champion from San Diego Mesa in the last three years. She was a perfect 21-0 and didn't lose a set all year.
She bolted ahead 3-0 in the opening set before Colling rallied to take a 5-4 lead. Colling broke Garrido's serve, then Garrido broke back to tie it at 6 and force a tiebreaker. Colling took a 5-3 lead in the tiebreak before three straight errors allowed Garrido to pull ahead at 6-5.
Colling foiled the first set point, then had her own set point at 7-6. Garrido scored the last three points on three straight hitting errors to secure the 9-7 win.
There were a plethora of long rallies throughout the match, some reaching 20 or 25 strokes per point.
"I knew she was tired and I've been working so hard on my fitness and training," said Garrido, a freshman from Culver City who won six matches in the four-day State tourney with a game record of 73-18. "I was just trying to push through that first set.
Garrido said she benefitted from the angles on her shots but in the end, she said it was mostly the fitness."I don't prefer long rallies like we had today but if I have to, I'll get through them."
"If I couldn't run to get all her angles and good shots, there's no way I would play well enough to win."
Garrido used an early service break to take a 3-1 lead in the second set. Colling held serve to pull within a game at 3-2 before Garrido reeled off three straight games, winning on the third match point when a Colling forehand sailed long.
"It was all fitness, Danielle is an incredibly determined athlete," said Olympian coach Marc Pinckney. "We do fitness every day for an hour and she's first or second in every drill. She's the best player I ever coached.
"I was losing it in that first set. It was pretty obvious that whoever won that set would win the match. Danielle kept elevating her game. At the end of the first set, you could see that her 'A game' was coming."
(article courtesy of Dave Loveton)