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Tennisace May 31st, 2007 11:44 PM

Cohen Going Pro

The women's champion, Audra Cohen, who defeated Lindsey Nelson of USC 7-5, 6-2, announced that she would leave the University of Miami after her junior year to try her hand at the pro tour.

"It's definitely a tough decision," said Cohen, 21. "I have a team of my best friends to leave behind, the college atmosphere that I'm walking away from. But I feel like it's my time. I've won so many college tournaments and been No. 1 in the country for a while, and it's my time to go out and play."

"I think she's ready and that she's making the right decision," said her coach, Paige Yaroshuk-Tews. "She's definitely going to be missed, but she's making the right decision for herself."

Since her dramatic comeback in the round of 16 against Celia Durkin, where she trailed 6-3 4-0 0-40, Cohen has been playing high-level tennis. But in the final, she started slowly and trailed 5-3 in the first set before reeling off the next nine games of the match.

"In the beginning I was rushing myself," said Cohen, of Plantation, Fla. "I was a little bit nervous; it was a big moment, big crowd; it took me a little while to get comfortable on the court and to start dictating the pace of the play."

Nelson, of Villa Park, Calif., hits two-handed from both sides, and flat and early are the watchwords of her style. But the thin six-footer couldn't keep the errors out of her game, and she noted that as the major difference between her play and Cohen's.

"She didn't miss - at all," said Nelson, who lost in the NCAA final for the second straight year. "And I missed a lot of balls. I made a lot of winners, but I missed way too many. Her slice was very effective today, her high balls were deep and heavy and it was difficult."

At 5-0, Nelson held and broke, but although she kept fighting, Nelson admitted it was "too late." As for Cohen, even the knowledge that it was her last collegiate match didn't give her any incentive to prolong it. "The quicker the better," she laughed afterwards. "And frankly, at the end, when it was 5-0 and then it was 5-2, it wasn't going quick enough."

As Cohen leaves college tennis with three major titles - the ITA Indoor, the ITA All-American and the NCAA individual - she looks back on the Hurricanes' 2006 NCAA season as one of the highlights of her college career.

"Getting the team to the finals was great. We were kind of underrated, but we just had heart; we didn't have all of the talent that the other teams had, we just had the fight, and that's something that helped me along the way. It helped me today and it will help me in the future as well."

It makes sense she's won the college career slam (All-American, Indoors, and NCAA singles). There's nothing for her to win except team titles and doubles titles.

tucker1989 Jun 1st, 2007 12:49 AM

Re: Cohen Going Pro
I understand her decision. She can always go back and do one more year of college when she finishes in the pros.

tennis_pIayer Jun 1st, 2007 12:50 AM

Re: Cohen Going Pro
she's def been the most dominant player in college tennis the last few years, about as much, if not more so than amber liu

kittyking Jun 1st, 2007 08:25 AM

Re: Cohen Going Pro

Originally Posted by tennis_pIayer (Post 10865179)
she's def been the most dominant player in college tennis the last few years, about as much, if not more so than amber liu

And wasnt Amber Liu so excellent on the Wta tour :tape:

wta_zuperfann Jun 2nd, 2007 03:07 AM

Re: Cohen Going Pro
I have always said that the NCAA's rule that restricts practice to 20 hours per week during the regular season, and which severely limits practice during off season, hurts a player's chances of developing his/her skills so as to enable them to turn pro successfully. Had Audra been allowed to practice 20 hours per week all year long and to play short season ball in autumn and indoor during winter, she could have developed her skills to the point where she could have graduated and turned pro a year later.

frogger Oct 29th, 2007 04:55 PM

Re: Cohen Going Pro
20 hours a week is alot of practice...3 hours a day 7 days a week. This doesn't include off court conditioning.Why do the best college players have such a hrd time adjusting to the pros?

hammerhead Oct 29th, 2007 08:04 PM

Re: Cohen Going Pro
OMG...I know plenty of decent pros who don't practice that many hours every day. Must be a different reason college players don't get too far in the pros.

Uranium Feb 10th, 2008 06:10 PM

Re: Cohen Going Pro
Audra played Forest Hills and i saw her, she was good and :drool::inlove::hearts:

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