Thursday, August 26, 2010

Big Ten players at US Open - Delic down, two to finish

The U.S. Open Qualifying event began on Monday, but only one out of three players with Big Ten ties has been able to finish a match.  While Ohio State Buckeye Chase Buchanan appears “stuck” at 5-2 (up) in the third set for two days, and former Illini  Rajeev Ram had his match suspended at 5-1 (down) in the final set, Ram’s former teammate Amer Delic was able to play his first match in a year.

The need for Knee surgery forced former NCAA champion Delic off the circuit last year.  He did make good use of his time and finished his degree at the University of Illinois, but it was the court he was really waiting to get back to. On Tuesday – after a rain delay of more than five hours – he was able to do that. His opponent was certainly not someone he would have chosen for his first match back.

Michael Yani, who turned professional in 2003 after playing for Duke, made a run through the US Open Qualifying last year and he looks poised for another.  He had an early break and a 3-1 lead over Amer Delic who, despite the power serve he is known for that saved him some games, could not get to some of Yani’s spectacular winners. The first set went fairly quickly with a 6-2 win for the former Blue Devil. Set two was going similar to the first, but at 5-2, match point down, there was a bit of a turnaround when Delic saved a match point and ended up taking his first break. The Illini then held serve to bring the score up to 5-4, but Michael Yani did not let up and had the win with his second match point.

With both Chase Buchanan and Rajeev Ram’s matches in the third set, telling an incomplete story doesn’t seem worthwhile. Thursday promises to be a sunny day, so stay tuned for a full report when those matches are complete.
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