2003 US OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS


John Isner & Pramod Dabir

Raquel Kops-Jones & Christina Fusano

At The Open With Marcia Frost...

Thursday, August 28th-Main Draw Day Four

It was another day of losses for the amateurs, but they didn't go down without a fight.

The University of Illinois brought quite a group to the U.S. Open. (Of course, when you sweep the NCAA Championships you are entitled to a few wildcards.) The last of the group, Pramod Dabir, played today with Georgia freshmen-to-be John Isner.

Pramod and John received a wildcard with their doubles win at the Boys' 18 Super National Hard Court Championships. They faced Alex Lopez Moron and Felix Mantilla in the first round. The games were all quick and there was not one break through to the tiebreaker. It appeared as if the younger duo had the set when they were up 5-0, but they couldn't hold it. The Spaniards worked up to 6-2 and gave them four set points. Pramod and John just couldn't close it out and before they knew it Alex and Felix won the set 7-6(6).

The second set was also a quick one, though it had many breaks. The teens soon were at a match point they couldn't fight off at 5-2.

The match immediately following was a different story. Christina Fusano and Raquel Kops-Jones, NCAA doubles champions, were in a close match through the first two sets. Since they had played together at Cal for years (Raquel will be returning for her senior year, Christina graduated), they had their teamwork down and were able to cover the court with ease. Despite Raquel's incredible volleys and Christina's near-perfect serve, they could not overcome the No. 9 seeds for a 6-3 first set loss, but they came back in the second to take it 7-5.

What happened in the third set is anyone's guess. While there was really nothing bad about the Cal duo's play, they didn't have it together they way they did in the beginning. The games (and breaks) began adding up against them until they couldn't dig out at 5-1 and then match.

Tomorrow begins a new set of draws and players for me as the Junior Open Championships begin with the qualifying event. New names, new faces and some victories for the younger set.

Until Tomorrow...

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