Sept. 11, 2003
CLAREMONT, Calif. - Tennessee's Simon Rea was eliminated Thursday from the singles draw at the Pomona Valley Medical Center USTA Pro Classic, a USTA Professional Futures Circuit event at The Claremont Club. After building a one-set lead, the Vol senior reaggravated an elbow injury and was forced to retire in the second set of his second-round match versus Stanford junior Sam Warburg.
Rea began the contest in fine form, continuing to exhibit the solid play that catapulted him to a thrilling three-set win in his first-round match Wednesday. He won the first set by a score of 6-4. Shortly thereafter, while trailing 2-1 in the second set, significant pain in his elbow forced him to withdraw from the competition.
One of Stanford's top returnees this season, Warburg is currently the No. 28-ranked collegiate singles player in the nation and received honorable mention All-Pac-10 recognition for the Cardinal last season.
"It's very disappointing for Simon," Tennessee associate head coach Chris Mahony said. "I think he had a chance to do well in this tournament. He was enjoying being back on the court and competing, but unfortunately his arm injury flared up again and didn't allow him to continue."
Rea, who garnered a preseason ITA singles ranking of No. 12 in the nation, defeated No. 8-seeded American professional Mirko Pehar 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 in an impressive first-round showing Wednesday.
Rea was expected to compete at the 2003 Diadora Pro Championship-also a USTA Futures event-in Costa Mesa, Calif., next week. His status for that tournament is now in question as his injury will be further evaluated upon his return to Knoxville.
"Simon's health is the No. 1 priority at this stage," Mahony said. "We need to get to the bottom of what's causing his pain."
Warburg advances to face Croatian professional Dusan Vemic in third-round action Friday afternoon.
The USTA Professional Circuit is the world's premier developmental circuit for aspiring professional tennis players. It allows players to gain the experience and ranking points needed to participate on the major pro tours and in Grand Slam tournaments. Futures events are one of three levels of tournaments, including Satellite and Challenger events, on the USTA Professional circuit and generally offer approximately $15,000 in prize money per event.
The Pomona Valley Medical Center USTA Pro Classic benefits the Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center. Last year's tournament raised more than $7,000 towards the Cancer Care Center for un-reimbursed programs and services including the breast health program, prostate cancer program, psycho-social oncology program and various other support services.