Stefan Kozlov Impresses in Pro Debut at Hall of Fame Championships
Stefan Kozlov had earned all of $656 in prize money before he entered today’s match against Michael Przysniezny at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, Rhode Island. Though he didn’t win the match, he gained valuable experience and impressed the partisan crowd with his ability to stay with the 29-year-old veteran throughout.
He also had the nerve to come back from match point four times in the second set tiebreak to level the match at one set a piece. After a slow first set, he was a hold of serve away in the third set from doing the unthinkable: winning a first pro match at fifteen and joining a handful of tennis legends.
By the third set, Kozlov called his trainer for treatment on his left leg following a slip on the grass in the first set. He didn’t seem to regain the quickness of the first two sets. Pryszienzy took advantage of a few missed opportunities by Kozlov to walk away with the close victory.
After the match, Kozlov collapsed and Przysiezny had to reach down to the grass to shake the 15-year-old’s hand. His younger brother even came out on court to help him leave the stadium. Still, he managed to sign post-match autographs as a pro for the first time.
In his first press conference, he said he didn’t sleep well last night and that now he knows he can a win a set as a pro, his confidence is high.
Know the name Stefan Kozlov. He’s coming to a Center Court near you soon. But first up is Kalamazoo and the US Open.
—Steve Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com