U.S. OPEN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
USTA Tennis Center - Flushing, New York
Qualifying: August 22-26, 2000
Main Draw: August 28-September 10, 2000
Junior: September 3-10, 2000
At The Open With Marcia Frost...
Monday, August 28th PM-Main Draw, Day One
Although nothing quite compares to playing Agassi under the lights and crowd of the main stadium, Kim did have some experience with the pros behind him. After his NCAA win in May, he played on the USTA Summer Team and won the singles and doubles (with Geoff Abrams) 2000 Chandler Cup Futures titles. He was also a semifinalist at the USTA Challenger in Winnetka, Illinois.
One must not forget that the last time an NCAA singles champion used their wild card to advance past the first round was when John McEnroe did it in 1978. McEnroe made it all the way to the semifinals that year. Although Agassi is a crowd favorite, there was more than one person in the crowd hoping to see another repeat of McEnroe's feat.
As for last night's match, Kim started out undeniably nervous and remained that way until Agassi had him at 5-1. As Andre reached set point, Kim came alive -- serving up aces, breaking the champion's serve, and getting the score up to a very respectable 5-4. Though Agassi won the set 6-4, it seemed as though Kim had conquered his nerves. His entourage of friends from his hometown (Potomac, Maryland) and Stanford cheered him on.
Alex continued to fight back in the second set and held his own with Agassi through the first few games. Once Kim's serve was broken, however, it was all over. Agassi took the second set (6-2) and quickly captured the third, 6-0.
Alex Kim will be heading back to Stanford to play through his senior year. It more than possible that he could draw another wildcard into the 2001 U.S. Open, but I'm sure he's relieved that the odds are against drawing the top seed again.
Incoming Duke University freshman Ansley Cargill also failed to advance to the second round. Cargill put up quite the fight in her match against Dawn Buth before losing 6-7(5),7-5. Entering the Open, the 18-year-old was the youngest American in the WTA top 300.
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