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Wednesday, Apr 23rd

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Kosakowski Beats Amritraj for Claremont USTA Pro Circuit Futures Title

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Daniel Kosakowski couldn't have picked a better time to play near-perfect tennis, as the 20-year from nearby Downey, Calif., captured the singles title and the $1,300 first-prize money on Sunday at the 17th annual Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Pro Classic, a $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit men's event.

The No. 2-seeded Kosakowski beat unseeded Prakash Amritraj, 6-3, 6-1, for his second career Futures title in five finals attempts.

"That was Top 100 tennis right there," Amritraj's cousin Stephen, a former pro player who played at Duke told a smiling Kosakowski as he came off the court. A nice finals crowd at the Claremont Club plus tournament director Barry Friedman all had to agree with Stephen after what they saw: Kosakowski has a huge forehand, a booming serve and loads of potential to compete on the ATP Tour.

"He played great today," said Prakash Amritraj, representing India but living in Sherman Oaks, Calif. "There were a couple of moments of the first set where if I would have won a crucial point or two it could have changed the complexion of the match.

"Once he got that early momentum he did a great job of building on it and really raising his level. He didn't seem to miss much."

Both players started strong holding serve at 3-all before Kosakowski got the crucial break in the seventh game of the first set. Making a very high percentage of his first serves, Kosakowski never dropped his serve and went on to reel off nine of the next 10 games for the title with a heavy forehand and a consistent backhand.

"Everything just seemed to click today," said Kosakowski, who will play in the Costa Mesa Futures event, which starts on Monday. "I had a good warm-up this morning with my brother-in-law," adding that it's always more comfortable to sleep in your own bed.