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Semifinals Are Set at Claremont USTA Pro Circuit Futures Event
Daniel Nguyen and Daniel Kosakowski are likely not talking about strategy here. The pair face each other in the semfinals on Saturday
CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 14, 2012) â€“ USC will take on UCLA on Saturday in the semifinals at the 17th annual Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Pro Classic, a $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit menâ€™s event being played this week at the Claremont Club.
Qualifier Daniel Nguyen, a recent USC graduate, will face former UCLA Bruin and No. 2-seeded Daniel Kosakowski in the first semi at 10 a.m. followed by former Trojan Prakash Amritraj against qualifier Haythem Abid, a Tunisia Davis Cup player who played for UCLA.
The quartet each beat seeded players on Friday in tightly contested matches to advance to Saturdayâ€™s semifinals.
The 20-year-old Kosakowski had to come back to beat former Michigan star Jason Jung, 23, the No. 6 seed from Torrance, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Kosakowski used his big forehand to dictate play in the second set and went up a break in the third taking a 5-3 lead, losing a game on Jungâ€™s serve and then serving out the match at love with four big serves.
Amritraj, representing India and using a protected ranking, is playing essentially his first tournament in two years. He beat No. 5-seeded Jeff Dadamo, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5). Amritraj said he requested an early start time as he had to assist his father Vijay Amritraj at his big celebrity exhibition benefitting the Vijay Amritraj Foundation, which was to include Michael Chang and Tommy Haas in Calabasas later in the day.
â€œItâ€™s exciting to be out there and competing again,â€ said the Sherman Oaks resident, who rehabbed surgery on both his left and right wrists but stayed away from the game a bit longer than planned. â€œIâ€™ve been training with Steve Johnson and some of the other USC players. Itâ€™s really a blessing just being out here and competing and trying to enjoy it. Being away from the game kind of brings back some thoughts and love for the game.â€
Amritraj got to a career-high ranking of No. 140 in the world but used a ranking of No. 366 to get into the Futures event. â€œHopefully next year my body will be well enough to play a full schedule,â€ he said.
In the doubles final contested later in the day, top-seeded Devin Britton and Reid Carleton beat No. 2 seeds Dadamo and Kyle McMorrow, 4-6, 7-5, 10-6, to split the $630 prize money that goes to the winning team.