Dome, Newman make men’s final; Stern wins women’s SB Open

Andre Dome

Andre Dome, a former Cal Poly player, will be seeking his second Santa Barbara Open title on Saturday against Noah Newman. (Presidio Sports Photo)


Andre Dome and Noah Newman will be playing for the Santa Barbara Open championship this weekend after both won their semifinal matches on Sunday at the Municipal Courts. Lori Stern navigated a smaller draw to take home the women’s trophy, defeating top-seeded Anna Ustinova 6-3, 6-4 in the final.

Stern, the No. 2 seed, took down Savannah Ware in the semifinal where a tight first set fell to Stern, 7-5. She then prevailed in the second, 6-3. In the final she found yet another gear against Ustinova.

“My semifinal match was definitely a little tougher,” said Stern. “Both players were very talented so I just tried to stay focused on getting opportunities to hit winners and I was just happy to do as well as I did.”

In the men’s open singles division, No. 1 seed Andre Dome utilized his aggressive two-handed forehand to defeat No. 3 seed Nicholas Ballou in straight sets with a score of 6-3, 6-4. Dome’s powerful serve posed a problem for Ballou in the second set as he served out an entire game with four consecutive unreturned serves.

Dome won the same tournament in 2012, the same year he was named Big West Conference Player of the Year for Cal Poly.

Campbell Johnson gets low to return a backhand on Sunday.

Campbell Johnson gets low to return a backhand on Sunday.

“I thought I played pretty consistent for the most part while also staying aggressive,” said Dome. “It was a little windy but I didn’t let it affect me too much and luckily I was able to pull out the match.”

In the other semifinal matchup, Newman had a tougher road to the finals. UC Berkeley’s Campbell Johnson won the first set 6-4. Newman, a former UCLA Bruin, credited Johnson’s consistency for his success in that first set, “I was trying really hard to hold serve, hoping he would make some mistakes. He is such a consistent player he wasn’t making any.”

In the second set, Newman overcame Johnson’s consistency and was able to battle back with solid play, winning 6-3 after Johnson started to get what would soon turn out to be a detrimental cramp in his right leg.

“After I lost the first set I still felt confident that I could win the match,” said Newman. “I didn’t think he was better than me and I didn’t think I was better than him, we were at the same level. I dialed in specifically on my foot work to get in position so I wouldn’t have to focus so much on my strokes.”

Johnson attempted to walk off his cramp in between sets, but at the start of the third set it was apparent that Johnson’s mobility became increasingly limited. After only three games, Johnson signaled that he could no longer continue, thus marking an unfortunate and disappointing end to what had been, up to that point, a riveting competition.

“Obviously I’m pretty bummed out,” admitted Johnson after the match. “I have taken a lot of time off for about the last two months, I came out here to have fun and compete, I thought I would be able to power through but this is something I feared would happen and I just have to move on.”

Andre Dome and Noah Newman are now scheduled to play for the championship this Saturday at 11 a.m at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club. Newman will try to stop Dome from clinching his second tournament title of the summer.

“I’ve been working on my game a lot recently,” said Dome. “That’s all I have to do, play my game. I’m not going to go in with any expectations and I’m really going to try and get things done with my serve. If I can do that I’ll be fine.”

Newman knows he has a tough match ahead against the former Cal Poly superstar.

“I have a whole week to prepare,” said Newman. “I hope I’ll be able to squeeze in some practice matches against someone who is up to the high level that Andre is before the championship match. I know I’m going to need to play some of the best tennis of my life, so I just hope I can feel my best this week and put up a good fight on Saturday.”

Find full results from all divisions HERE

Lori Stern won the women's open championship as the No. 2 seed.

Lori Stern won the women’s open championship as the No. 2 seed.