Arconada Wins Tennis Championships of Honolulu

Photo Credit: Michael Choy

Photo Credit: Michael Choy

The Tennis Championships of Honolulu concluded today, crowning Usue Arconada as the 2019 women's singles champion. Arconada beat second seed Nicole Gibbs in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2.

Arconada barely made a mistake in the hour-long match while Gibbs committed many unforced errors, including three double faults. The 20-year-old champion from Puerto Rico confidently took the lead very early in set one with solid serves and multiple drop shots. Gibbs, on the other hand, was noticeably nervous and struggled with her service toss throughout the match. While she tried to mix lobs into her rally, Arconada aggressively responded with relentless low and flat groundstrokes that Gibbs could not return.

After losing the first set, a visibly exhausted Gibbs tried to redeem herself by adding slice shots and drop shots into her game. At 6-0, 5-0, the crowd got behind Gibbs as she picked up a break and a hold of serve. Arconada, however, was not phased by a bit of drama late in the match. Returning to a punishing groundstroke game, she watched Gibbs' forehand return sail long on match point. Pumping her fists, Arconada let out a roar celebrating her winning performance.

"My strategy was mostly just staying within myself, playing my game, not getting ahead of myself," Arconada commented. Despite not winning the title, Gibbs, who recently defeated cancer, expressed that she is satisfied with the results. "This is my first tournament back after taking some time off, so I am really pleased with myself."

Following this tournament, Arconada, who takes home nearly $10,000 from her win, will be heading to Berkeley for the next leg of the U.S. Open Wild Card Challenge. Gibbs will be flying overnight to Orlando to compete in her next tournament starting tomorrow.

Christine Nip