Tennis: Abrams retires from pro tennis circuit

Richard Dunn

COSTA MESA - There was no farewell tour, no press conference and no

standing ovation at center court.

Geoff Abrams, one of the finest tennis players in Newport-Mesa

history, went out quietly Wednesday in the Costa Mesa Pro Classic at the

Costa Mesa Tennis Center, a $15,000 United States Tennis Association

Futures event.

Abrams, of Newport Beach, lost to Diego Ayala of Coral Springs, Fla.,

6-4, 6-2, in the first round of the main draw and said goodbye to a 1

1/2-year pro career.

"I love tennis, and it has been very good for me, but I'm really ready

to move on," said Abrams, a former Newport Harbor High standout and

Stanford All-American, who told tournament director Hank Lloyd that this

event would be his swan song.

Abrams, ranked 590th in the world in singles, played in front of his

parents and former Newport Harbor coach, Charlie Bleiker, in a morning

match that lasted 1:20.

Afterward, Abrams said he started the process last week to take the

Medical College Admission Test in April and enter medical school.

A Stanford premed graduate with aspirations of specializing in

orthopedics, Abrams carried a 3.3 grade point average at Stanford, where

he finished his senior year in 2000 as the Pac-10 champion and the

eighth-ranked college player in the nation.

"With the grind that's involved in playing (USTA Futures and satellite

events), I'm just not willing to do the things to get to the next level,"

Abrams said. "I always wanted to go to medical school. I don't want to be

28, 29 years old and not reach the next level (in tennis)."

Abrams, who said UC Irvine and UC Davis would be two of his top

choices for medical school, finished his pro career with one singles

crown and two doubles titles. Abrams pulled out of the upcoming Futures

event in Malibu.

"My focus has just shifted away from tennis," said Abrams, a former

USTA junior phenom who was ranked No. 1 in the nation in the boys 14s.

The 6-foot-5 Abrams, who possess soft hands and a booming serve,

played on three NCAA title teams in four years at Stanford and capped his

collegiate career by earning All-American honors in singles and doubles.

He owns the fourth-best winning percentage in Stanford history.

In other first-round matches Wednesday, qualifier Nicolas Brochu

defeated lucky loser Lesley Joseph, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5; qualifier Brandon

Kramer beat wild card Bo Hodge, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-5; qualifier Jeff

Greenwald topped qualifier Alexandre Renard, 6-2, 6-2; qualifier Bertrand

Contzler upset eighth-seeded James Sekulov, 2-6, 6-2, 6-0; and Jason Cook

beat Willem Petrus Meyer, 6-1, 7-6 (3).

In other matches, fifth-seeded Daniel Willman swept K.C. Corkery, 6-0,

7-5; Oren Motevassel beat Robert Topalo, 6-4, 7-5; Mark Nielsen defeated

Chris Sands, 6-3, 6-2; and second-seeded Robert Kendrick went through

Ramsey Smith, 6-2, 6-2.

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