Former Illini Ryler DeHeart during his first-round qualifying bracket match against Lester Cook.
Aug. 28, 2007
FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. - The 2007 US Open is already in full swing at the United States Tennis Association Billy Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., with notable former Illini heating up the courts of the year's final Grand Slam. In action today, Amer Delic drew a tough first-round challenge against former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, falling in straights 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. In the doubles bracket, Delic, who is playing with American veteran Justin Gimelstob, and former Illini Rajeev Ram, who has teamed up with rising American star Donald Young, will both begin their run at the US Open doubles title on Wednesday, Aug. 29.
Delic and Gimelstob open play against Robin Haase of the Nederland's and Jurgen Melzer of Austria in their opening match, while Ram and Young square off against Agustin Calleri of Argentina and Luis Horna of Peru.
Delic and Gimelstob are looking to produce another deep run on the American hard courts this summer, as they have already advanced into an ATP semifinal earlier this year at the RCA Championships in Indianapolis. Ram, on the other hand, is looking to back-up his 2007 Championships at Wimbledon success, where he and then partner Bobby Reynolds advanced to the quarterfinals. For Ram's young American compatriot, Young, he is playing in his first Grand Slam main draw doubles tournament of the season and is coming off a juniors Wimbledon Title in his last Grand Slam appearance.
Before the start of the tournament, 2006 Illini Ryler DeHeart, Ram and Brian Wilson also all tried their racquets in the US Open qualifying singles draw. DeHeart advanced into the second round after taking down Lester Cook of the United States 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4 before suffering a 6-3, 6-3 setback in the second round to Dudi Sela of Israel.
Wilson also battled into the second round of qualifying after dismissing No. 295 Grega Zemlja of Slovenia (6-4, 7-6(5)), but his run ended in a loss to No. 180 Bruno Echagaray, 6-4, 7-5. Ram, after a solid display of tennis, was unable to get past No. 120 Paul Capdeville of Chile, 6-4, 6-4, to wrap up the Illini in the qualifying singles draw.
For continued coverage of former Illinois tennis players and the 2007 US Open, visit the Grand Slam's official site at usopen.org or fightingillini.com for the remainder of the Open, running Aug. 24-Sept. 9.