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Brian Baker Receives US Open Wildcard

August 20, 2003 11:21 AM

The USTA announced that Brian Baker (Nashville, TN), Alex Bogomolov, Jr. (Miami, FL), Michael Chang (Mercer Island, WA), Amer Delic (Jacksonville, FL), Robert Kendrick (Orlando, FL), Alex Kim (Potomac, MD), Jeff Morrison (Tampa, FL) and Robert Yim (Glendale, CA) have been awarded main draw men’s singles wild card entries into the 2003 US Open Tennis Championships, which will be played August 25 - September 7 at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Lincoln Mercury.

Former World No. 2 Chang has announced his retirement and will conclude his legendary pro career following the 2003 US Open. Half of the eight recipients have been touring pros for less than three years while Delic and Yim are still amateurs. Kendrick turned professional in 1999.

Brian Baker (photo credit: Scott Olivenbaum)
Baker
, 18, turned professional this summer after a very successful junior career and is currently ranked No. 447 on the ATP Entry System. He reached his first pro singles final at the USTA $15,000 Futures in Little Rock, AR, in April. Baker jumped to a career-high No. 2 in the ITF World Junior Rankings after reaching the boys’ singles final at Roland Garros in June. He won the 2002 Orange Bowl joining a list of champions that includes reigning Wimbledon champion Roger Federer (1998) and current World No. 4 Andy Roddick (1999).


Bogomolov
, 20, is currently ranked No. 117 in the ATP Entry System. Last week he teamed with Morrison to win a bronze medal in doubles at the Pan Am Games and was a quarterfinalist in singles. Bogomolov reached the third round of the ATP stop in Indianapolis in July and posted a 11-match winning streak this spring during which he won challenger titles in Leon, Mexico and at the USTA $50,000 Challenger in Forest Hills.

Chang, 31, is scheduled to play his final professional tournament at the 2003 US Open, concluding a 16-year career in which he won 34 singles titles, including seven Tennis Masters Series events and a Grand Slam. He became the youngest Grand Slam men’s singles champion when he won the 1989 Roland Garros title at the age of 17 years and 3 months and ended a 44-year drought for American men in Paris. Chang reached three other Grand Slam singles finals and was runner-up at the 1995 ATP season-ending championships. He earned a career-high ranking of No. 2 in September 1996 after reaching the US Open final. He represented the United States at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and posted an 8-4 record for the U.S. Davis Cup team in 1989-90 and 1996-97.

Delic, 21, won the 2003 NCAA men’s singles title and led the University of Illinois to an undefeated season (34-0) and the school’s first NCAA team tennis title in May. He won his first professional tournament at the USTA $10,000 Futures in Peoria, Ill., competing as an amateur, and extended World No. 11 Paradorn Srichaphan to a decisive third set during a second round match at the ATP event in Indianapolis last month.

Kendrick, 23, is currently ranked No. 122 on the ATP Entry System. He reached his first tour-level semifinal at Delray Beach in March, where he fell to eventual champion Jan-Michael Gambill in a decisive third set tiebreaker. He also reached the semifinals at the USTA $50,000 Challenger in Dallas in February. The US Open will be Kendrick’s third tournament since suffering a thumb injury during a doubles match at Wimbledon earlier this summer.

Kim, 23, is currently ranked No. 158 on the ATP Entry System. He captured a bronze medal in singles at the Pan Am Games last week after falling to former World No. 1 Marcelo Rios in the semifinals. Kim qualified for the main draw at Roland Garros and extended Wimbledon runner-up Mark Philippoussis to five sets in the first round. He finished runner-up at the USTA $50,000 Challengers in Tallahassee, FL, and Birmingham, AL, on the USTA Pro Circuit this summer.

Morrison, 24, is currently ranked No. 200 on the ATP Entry System. Last week he teamed with Bogomolov to win a bronze medal in doubles at the Pan Am Games and was one match short of earning a medal in singles after falling to eventual champion Fernando Meligeni. Since tearing an abdominal muscle during the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in April, Morrison has been limited to only two tour-level events. He ended the 2002 season ranked No. 99, his first finish in the Top 100.

Yim, 18, earned the wild card traditionally given to the winner of the USTA Boys’ 18s Super National Championships. He won the 2003 title Sunday by defeating Jamil Al-Agba in straight sets in the best-of-five-set final. Yim made his ATP debut last month after he advanced through qualifying to reach the main draw of the tour stop in Los Angeles, where he fell to Wayne Ferreira in the first round. He has been ranked as high as No. 22 in the ITF World Junior Rankings.

Brian Baker was not the only Southern male player preseneted with a Wild Card. Former Vanderbilt University star Bobby Reynolds (Acworth, GA) was one of nine players given Wild Cards into the US Open Qualifying Tournament. The qualifying event is held August 19-22 at the USTA National Tennis Center.

Other players receiving US Open qualifying wild cards are: Jamil Al-Agba (Camarillo, CA), Thomas Blake (Tampa, FL), Matias Boeker (Deerfield Beach, FL), Kean Feeder (Portland, OR), KJ Hippensteel (Roanoke, VA), Chris Kwon (Boca Raton, FL), Rajeev Ram (Carmel, IN) and Todd Widom (Coral Springs, FL).

The US Open is the highest annually attended sporting event in the world. Over 100 million viewers watched the 2002 US Open on CBS Sports and USA Network, and international broadcasts reached 165 countries.

For more information on the US Open, log on to www.usopen.org.

Related Information:
Six Southern Females Awarded US Open Wild Cards

 

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