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Georgia's Jewel Peterson Makes an Impression at her First Professional Event

June 16, 2003 10:16 AM
Jewel Peterson, from College Park, GA and recent graduate from the the University of Southern California, had an outstanding run this past week in Allentown, PA at the Mecco Cup $25,000 Challenger. Peterson, playing in the first professional tournament of her young career, lost in a heartbreaking three sets to Diana Ospina, of Bloomfield, MI, in the finals of the championship.


Peterson, who was a 4-time All American at USC, entered the USTA $25,000 Challenger as a Wildcard. She looked strong from the start and along the way took out the No. 6 seed, Russian Nicole Rencken, in the quarterfinals. Three of the four matches she played in en route to the finals went to three sets; her only straight set victory coming in the semifinals against American Jessica Kirkland.

In the finals against Ospina, Peterson looked overpowered in the first set, losing 6-2. She came back strong in the second, winning by an identical score of 6-2. Unfortunately the energy she used to make her second set comeback seemed to leave her in the third as Ospina ran over her, 6-0.

The win was Diana Ospina's first as a professional.

Peterson was a semifinalist at the 2003 NCAA Singles Championship in Gainesville, FL. She lost to eventual champion Amber Lui of Stamford.

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 ranges from $10,000 to $75,000, with more than $3 million in purses this year. Players also earn valuable ATP and WTA tour ranking points.

Players who have launched their careers on the USTA / ITF Pro Circuit include, Andre Agassi, James Blake, Michael Chang, Lindsay Davenport, Anna Kournikova, Patrick Rafter, Andy Roddick, Chanda Rubin and Pete Sampras.

More on Jewel Peterson.

 

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