Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Amer(ican) Delic Moves On

by Craig Hickman

For the first time in his professional career, American Amer Delic has won two consecutive matches at an ATP event. More impressively, the qualifier, who has won 5 matches in a row at Crandon Park in Miami, took out an in-form Julian Benneteau of France in the opening round of the main draw, only lost three games against No. 31 seed Jose Acasuso of Argentina in the second round, and saved four set points in the first set, including one on an overturned call, to dispatch of No. 4 seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia in the third round, his first win over a top-10 player.

Delic hasn't dropped a set through his three main draw matches. He'll next face another Argentine, Juan Ignacio Chela, who dismissed the Czech Tomas Berdych in straight sets earlier today, for a spot in his first Masters Series quarterfinal.

When I first saw Delic play some years ago, he was burning up the courts in an NCAA singles championship match. I can't remember his opponent, but I remember thinking that this big guy with a big serve and great instincts around the net could do some damage on the ATP tour if he ever turned pro. Which he did in 2003, but till this time, he hasn't been able to stay in matches mentally and has squandered many opportunities to make a name for himself as an up-and-coming American.

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