Originally created 03/31/04

Youth serves early upset

Tuesday was supposed to be Kids Day at the Taylor Infiniti Challenger Tournament at The Club at Raes Creek. Steady rain throughout the morning and early afternoon washed those plans away, but a kid still stole the show at the women's tennis tournament.

Teenager Krysty Marcio won her first WTA Tour match, winning by default over Nina Duebbers, a player nearly 700 spots ahead of her in the world ranking.

The 15-year-old Marcio is one of the players who signed up to help teach children tennis, but she's just a kid herself.

"It would've been pretty weird trying to teach someone my age or older," Marcio said.

But there's a good chance she might today at 4 p.m. if she's able to help at the rescheduled Kids Day.

Marcio isn't old enough to drive a car by herself, but watching her play you wouldn't have known it. She fell down 4-1 in her first set against Duebbers , a 23-year-old German, but didn't let it bother her.

"I was telling myself not to worry about the score and to play each point," Marcio said.

Marcio came back to tie the match at four games apiece , then traded games with Duebbers until it was 6-6. Marcio won the tiebreaker 7-5 when Duebbers double faulted. Marcio carried the momentum and poise with her into the second match, while Duebbers played more like a frustrated teenager.

And with Marcio leading 4-0, Duebbers defaulted, giving Marcio the match 7-6, 4-0. Duebbers is ranked 198 in the world by the WTA, while Marcio is ranked 873. It was Marcio's first main-draw win in her fourth event.

"It's good experience," Marcio said of playing against tour pros. "And to win is even better."

Her mom was a little more emotional.

"I'm so happy I want to cry," Norma Jean Marcio said.

Her mom was the reason Krysty Marcio got into tennis. She used to go with her mom to the tennis court and began playing at the age of 2.

"She was always saying 'More mommy, more,' " Norma Jean Marcio said.

Mom kept giving her more tennis and about three or four years ago she began home-schooling Krysty Marcio so the two could travel to tournaments around the world. Her dad, Stan Marcio, stays at the family home in Sunrise, Fla., for most tournaments because he has to work.

But at 2 a.m. Tuesday, he left Florida for Augusta so he could be with his wife and daughter.

"I think she's playing a little better since I'm here," Stan Marcio said after his daughter's first match. "She wanted to show me what all my hard work is for."

Rain delayed the start of play Tuesday, but officials hope to have the tournament back on schedule by the end of today.

Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3219 or kristy.shonka@augustachronicle.com.


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