The Ojai Tennis Tournament returns April 20-24, once again hosting the PAC-12 Team Championships as well as other collegiate competitions such as the Independent Colleges and NCAA Division III West Regionals. The Open Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles events will be contested with an overall purse of $20,000. The tournament also includes the Boys’ CIF Singles and Doubles events, and more junior competitions with the Boys’ and Girls’ 14s and 16s draws and a Girls’ 18s draw.
In the Men’s Open, past champions Clay Thompson (Venice) and Quinn Borchard return to play together for the first time and try to make another run at an Ojai title. Borchard was a junior tennis star from Thousand Oaks growing up and first played The Ojai as a young junior. Currently a head teaching pro at Sunset Hills Country Club, Borchard made the Men’s Open doubles final in 2014 but did one better in 2015 capturing the doubles title with Calle Hansen. Borchard teamed with Arnau Dachs to advance to the doubles final in 2019.
The former UCLA star Thompson won the Men’s Open doubles in 2016 with Brandon Holt. “I’m super excited to be back to try and win another Ojai title,” Borchard said. “I can’t believe Clay said yes!”
Harvard-bound San Marcos High School senior Masato Perera will be a strong contender in doubles playing with future Cal Bear and high junior Ethan Schiffman of Rancho Santa Fe.
Women’s players include Dominique-Chante McLean, an instructor at the Weil Tennis Academy, and Amanda Perez of Mission Hills.
College play will begin on Friday during Ojai week at the Pierpont Racquet Club in Ventura. Matches on Saturday and will be held in Ojai at the Weil Tennis Academy / Ojai Valley Athletic Club, with the singles and doubles finals being played at historic Libbey Park on Sunday. The Men’s NCAA Division III West Regional will consist of a 32-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw. Claremont Mudd-Scripps, Cal Tech and Cal Lutheran will be the teams to watch.
The son of Ojai Wall of Fame member Kimberly Po Messerli will be one to watch in the Boys’ CIF-Southern Section event as Tristan Messerli will play in the singles representing Rancho Palos Verdes Hight School. Committed to play at Washington, the senior Messerli is coached by his father, former touring pro Oliver Messerli.
Others to watch, include junior Alan Ton of Fountain Valley, who is headed to Army. Irvine’s University will be represented by Conrad Brown, a senior who will play his college tennis next year at UC-Santa Barbara. Corona Del Mar’s Niels Hoffmann is a sophomore with a surname Ojai fans will recall. Neils is the younger brother of Bjorn Hoffmann, the 2015 and 2016 CIF singles runner-up.
Ventura County high schools that will be represented in singles include: Villanova Prep (Timothy Quest), Newbury Park (Ronak Santosh), Oak Park (Drew Koval), and a Westlake doubles team (Abhiram Nandury/Ryan Slossan).