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Unseeded American Jennifer Hopkins Falls Short in Finals of the Neighborhood Charter School USTA Women's $25K Challenger

March 30, 2003 04:07 PM
Despite the wind Nejedly's serve kept Hopkins off balance all match. Photo by Marc Kaplan.
Former Canadian Olympian, Jana Nejedly won her second straight USTA Women's Challenger in as many weeks, defeating American Jennifer Hopkins in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5. Nejedly, ranked 242 in the world coming into this event, won the USTA Women's Challenger in Redding, CA last week.

The event enjoyed unseasonably warm weather for March as temperatures reached into the mid-70's all week. However, the weather for the final round of play was quite different, with a high for the day around 45, accompanied by winds gusting up to 20 mph. The wind gusts caused problems for the servers and led to ten breaks of serve in the match.

Hopkins, from Leawood, KS and ranked 211 in the world entering this event, played very tentatively in the first set and seemed unable to find any kind of rhythm. Nejedly took advantage and, after capturing two breaks of serve, won the set 6-2.

Hopkins seemed to find her groove and confidence in the second set, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. Her groundstrokes and net game seemed to frustrate Nejedly and Hopkins even managed to break Nejedly's first two service games. However at 4-1 the 1996 Olympian took control and won four straight games to go up 5-4. Hopkins broke back to make it 5-5, but was immediately broken herself. Nejedly served out the set, 7-5, to capture the championship. Total match time was one hour and 27 minutes.

Nejedly, one of the best players to ever come out of Canada has earned seven ITF career singles titles, two this year. Hopkins, from Leawood, Kansas has a career six singles USTA Pro Circuit and ITF Circuit championships, and has competed in all four Grand Slams (more on Jennifer Hopkins).

Hopkins sits disappointed after the loss. Photo by Marc Kaplan.
With the championship Nejedly took home $3,000. Runner-up Hopkins was awarded $1,700. During the awards presentation Hopkins announced that she was donating part of her prize money to the Neighborhood Charter School.

In the doubles final, third seeds Ting Li and Tian Tian Sun from China won in three sets over Leanne Baker, New Zealand, and Francesca Lubiani, Italy, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. This is their second doubles championship in the last four tournaments.

Dowload the final results and draw.

Admission to the Neighborhood Charter School USTA Women's $25,000 Challenger was free but donations benefiting the Neighborhood Charter School were accepted. The Neighborhood Charter School, a 98-year old in-town elementary school in Grant Park that opened in the fall of 2002, was destroyed by fire in February following a full year of extensive remodeling by parents and volunteers. It housed the community's 105 kindergarten through third grade students.

The USTA organizes, sponsors and administers the USTA Professional Circuit, the gateway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis professionals and a frequent battleground for established players. The 2003 circuit features nearly 100 events for men and women. Prize money at USTA Professional Circuit events range from $10,000 to $75,000, with more than $3 million in total purse. Players also earn valuable ATP and WTA tour ranking points.

Debby Teitsman , Tournament Press Aide, cell 404.402.7719
Peggy May, Tournament Director, Cell 843.290.1570
Marc Kaplan, USTA Southern Section, 770.368.8200

Additional Pictures from the Singles Final between
Jana Nejedly and Jennifer Hopkins

Jennifer Hopkins - photo by Marc Kaplan
Jennifer Hopkins - photo by Marc Kaplan
Jennifer Hopkins - photo by Marc Kaplan
Jana Nejedly - photo by Marc Kaplan
Hopkins' net game was strong throughout the match. Photo by Marc Kaplan.
Jana Nejedly - photo by Marc Kaplan




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