Kosakowski Qualifies for Farmers Classic
July 25, 2011
LOS ANGELES - UCLA's Daniel Kosakowski earned a spot in the main draw of his first ATP Tour event on Monday, as he posted a straight-set victory in the final round of qualifying to gain acceptance to the 2011 Farmers Classic at UCLA's Los Angeles Tennis Center.
Kosakowski, who won three qualifying matches in total, capped off his impressive run with a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over another young American, Denis Kudla, who reached the quarterfinals in Newport two weeks ago.
"I didn't really have much of a strategy, just to play my game, play aggressively, serve well and hope good things would happen," said Kosakowski, who was the Bruins' No. 1 singles player as a freshman in 2011. "I've grown up watching this tournament and it feels amazing. My whole family and a bunch of my friends came out to watch. All these people who have been watching me, they have seen me grow up as a player. They have seen me play since I was 10. I'm sure it means a lot to them too."
Kosakowski got down a break early in both sets on Monday. After Kudla took a 4-2 lead in the first set, Kosakowski ran off four straight games to take the set 6-4. He got into an early hole in the second set as well, as Kudla stormed out to a 4-1 advantage. Kosakowski remained steady, however, fighting back to tie the set at 5-5. He even fought off a set point while serving down 5-6 before eventually holding and taking the second set tiebreaker 7-4.
"I tried not to think about it and just keep playing how I've been playing," said Kosakowski, when asked if nerves were a factor in the match. "I just knew I had to keep fighting and see what happens."
Awaiting Kosakowski in the main draw is American Tim Smyczek, who also qualified on Monday. The two are scheduled to square off on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.
"I'm going to be excited," said Kosakowski. "I'll just enjoy the experience and hang out with the pros in the locker room."
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