February 17, 2009
Scorteanu advances in BNP
Former ball kid wins spot in the prequalifer
The Desert Sun
INDIAN WELLS — Andy Scorteanu vividly remembers watching the dread-locked tennis star Yannick Noah vying for a title at La Quinta Resort when he was a ball kid.
That was 20 years ago in the championship match of the tournament now known as the BNP Paribas Open.
Today Scorteanu is one step away from competing in that same prestigious event, the fifth-largest tennis tournament in the world played at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Scorteanu, 30, won one of the two men's challenger matches Monday, earning a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Till Guttenberger of Irvine.
He earned the first of two spots in the Match 7-8 prequalifier .
All other matches were suspended in progress and will be completed March 6.
“I'm really excited that it's here in my hometown where I'm getting to play in a big tournament and everyone from Indian Ridge is coming out to watch,'' said Scorteanu, who is a teaching pro at the Palm Desert-area country club and a Palm Desert High alum. “ This is how to all started for me, right here. I slowly got into tennis, trained and dreamed of playing in this tournament.
“I'm so very thankful for that and I was very fortunate that it really didn't start raining until we were done.”
The match lasted close to 90 minutes, but Scorteanu said it wasn't as easy as the score indicated.
He continually had to shake off Guttenberger on the big points.
“It was very difficult,” he said. “It was cold and rainy. I was just trying to stay calm, trying to weather the storm.”
However, Scorteanu played well throughout the match and was able to capitalize on almost every opportunity.
He said feeling comfortable at Indians Wells, where he reached the final and quarterfinal in two other tries, gave him that extra push.
“I didn't go out and expect to play unbelievably all the time,'' he said of his other matches all won in straight-set victories. “Maybe it's just the fact that I'm playing for a spot in this tournament. I love this tournament. It's my favorite and I've been fortunate to see other tournaments out there.”
In other semifinal action, The Lakes' teaching pro Marcin Rozpedski won the first set 7-6 against Colt Gaston, but is trailing in the second, 0-2.
In the women's bracket, Jacqueline Cako of Brier, Wash. won the first set 6-2 against Lindsey Nelson from USC. Nelson then took the lead in the second, 3-2.
Brittany Augustine of Carson holds the advantage against Danielle Leo of Arcadia, 6-4, 2-1.