Russian Top Seed Takes Title at 2003 Project Independence Men's $25K Challenger
9/22/03 3:05 AM
Russian Dmitry Tursunov staged a dramatic come from behind victory over Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic on Sunday to win the 2003 Project Independence Men's $25K Challenger, a USTA Pro Circuit event played at the Hootmon Tennis Club in Mandeville, LA.
After losing the opening set 6-3, Tursunov regrouped and handily swept the final two sets. Hernych, seeded No. 5, at times seemed ready to jump back into the match, but Tursunov continually played the aggressor and overpowered his opponent, winning the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Dmitry Tursunov at the 2001 Kroger-St. Jude Tournament. (Photo credit © 2001, rowztennis.com. All rights reserved. Photo taken by Lanie.)
Tursunov took home $3,600 with the win, while Hernych earned $2,120. Both will undoubtedly move up in the ATP Champions Points Race.
Tursunov is coming off of his remarkable first round, five set win over former world No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil at the 2003 US Open. He followed that amazing performance with another five set victory over John van Lottum of the Netherlands in round two, only to have his US Open run end in the third round with a loss to Belgium's Xavier Malisse.
En route to the final round of play Tursunov fended off rising young American, and two time NCAA Singles Champion, Matias Boeker. Boeker, however, was not much of a challenge as Tursunov pulled off the straight victory, 6-3, 6-2.
Hernych also faced a young American in the semis, but had a more difficult time advancing. Virginia's K.J. Hippensteel pushed Hernych to three sets before losing. The final score was 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3.
In doubles the unseeded team of Frenchman Sebastien De Chaunac and American Zach Fleishman battled through a tough three sets against German Benedikt Dorsch and Slovakian Matija Zgaga, before winning 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 6-3. In the semifinals De Chaunac and Fleishman easily defeated the No. 2 team of Paul Goldstein and Anthony Ross, 6-2, 7-5.
Download the final singles and doubles draws.
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