Bea Bielik

Ally Baker

At The Open With Marcia Frost...

Monday, August 26th-Main Draw Day One
It's true, she's no longer a college player. As of Friday, August 23rd, Bea Bielik turned professional, but there were no amateurs playing today and I couldn't resist covering a match with the native New Yorker who dominated the 2001-02 College Tennis Season. And I'm glad I did.

Watching Bea Bielik on Court 18 was a mesmerizing experience. She gave new meaning to the term "serve and volley" as her strokes flowed through one amazing shot after another. Without breaking a sweat, she took the first set from 18 year old qualifier Renata Voracova, 6-4. Though the Czech had an early break on a luck shot, Bea also dominated the second set. In an ending only fitting for a professional debut in her hometown, Bea won the final game on four aces!

After the match, Bea Bielik held her first US Open press conference. She was understandably elated as she spoke of her first match as a professional, "This is home for me, so I had a lot of people supporting me, which was great. It helped me a tremendous amount... I can't honestly say that I felt I was playing a Grand Slam. I really didn't try to think about it." She credited a lot of her ability to relax to the fact that she was able to spend last night, "in my own bed, watching my own television."

Bea spoke some on her decision to turn professional, "I didn't want to rush into anything. I didn't want to regreat any decision... I just felt like I had competed at a high level in college and I had achieved everything there is to achieve."

Although Bea may have left the world of college and junior tennis, don't be surprised to find me at many more of her matches, cheering silently for the hometown girl.

Note: Other recent professionals did not have as much luck today. Ally Baker lost to Elena Likhovtseva, 4-6,6-2,7-6(3); Ansley Cargill (Duke) lost to Francesca Shiavone, 3-6,6-1,6-1; Laura Granville (Stanford) lost to Katarina Srebotnik, 6-3,6-4; and Brian Vahaly (Virginia) lost to James Blake (Harvard), 6-7(3),6-3,6-3,7-6(5).

Until Tomorrow...

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