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Article-"Tursunov falters in a rare favorite's role in San Jose"

mad1town
02-11-2004, 11:30 AM
Tursunov falters in a rare favorite's role in San Jose

SAN JOSE - Roseville's Dmitry Tursunov lost 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 Monday in the first round of the Siebel Open.
Tursunov, a 21-year-old playing an opponent for the first time on the ATP Tour who he was favored to beat, fell to qualifier K.J. Hippensteel, a former Stanford All-American making his ATP debut. Playing his first year full time on tour, Tursunov carried the world's No. 84 ranking into the tournament. Hippensteel is ranked No. 377.

"I definitely got a little tense," said Tursunov, a resident of Roseville for three years after coming from Moscow when he was 12 and then spending time in the Bay Area. "I had a lot of friends here. Before the match, I was thinking what will happen if I lose.
"I'm not used to be playing guys (on the ATP Tour) I'm supposed to beat. Before, in ATP events, I was always the underdog. Today, I wasn't. I should have been more focused on the way I played. Hopefully, I'll learn from it."

Vitaly Gorin, his part-time coach who resides in Granite Bay, said Tursunov's feet "didn't move."

"He does better against higher-ranked players," said Gorin, who has known Tursunov for nine years. "If you're worried about losing, you're going to lose. He's not used to this kind of pressure.

"This was the first time he was expected to win at this level of event. He's got to get a few more of these under his belt."

mad1town
02-11-2004, 11:32 AM
Ex-Cardinal wins ATP debut
HIPPENSTEEL DEFEATS TURSUNOV IN THREE SETS

It took K.J. Hippensteel more than a year to play in his first ATP Tour event, and the Stanford alumnus made it a memorable debut.

Hippensteel upset No. 84 Dmitry Tursunov 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 Monday on the opening day of the Siebel Open at HP Pavilion.

The four-time All-American has spent the past year and a half playing the Futures and Challenger circuits and is participating at the Siebel Open only because he reached the semifinals of last weekend's qualifying tournament.

Hippensteel, one of four qualifiers in the tournament, is No. 377 in the ATP rankings.

``It's tough because you get so few opportunities, so you've got to make the most of them,'' said Hippensteel, who had failed to advance through two ATP qualifying tournaments, including for last year's Siebel Open. ``It all comes down to believing.''

Hippensteel suffered a disk problem in his back late in his senior season in 2002 that put his pro career in jeopardy before it started.

``Basically lying down was the only position that didn't hurt,'' he said. ``During that time it was like am I going to be able to function, not can I play tennis again.''

After four months of rehabilitation, Hippensteel, 23, gave himself three years to get established on the pro circuit before applying for medical school. He has been successful on the Futures circuit, winning three singles titles and three doubles titles, and has reached several Challenger semifinals.

``I never wanted to sit back and wonder what would have happened,'' Hippensteel said. ``It's been a long year and a half, but this is just icing on the cake.''

• Hippensteel will face Jan-Michael Gambill in the second round Thursday. Gambill defeated eighth-seeded Wayne Ferreira 6-7 (12-14), 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

star
02-11-2004, 01:51 PM
GO K.J.!!

:)

Deboogle!.
02-11-2004, 02:49 PM
After four months of rehabilitation, Hippensteel, 23, gave himself three years to get established on the pro circuit before applying for medical school.

WOW!!! :eek: I'm liking this kid more and more.