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Talented Players with Southern Roots Excel at $25,000 Mecco Cup in Allentown, PA

June 19, 2006 03:00 PM

An explosion of talented players with roots in the Southern Section took over The Mecco Cup last weekend at the Westend Racquet Club in Allentown, PA. Former Kentucky resident Carly Gullickson advanced to the singles final before succumbing to second-seeded Varvara Lepchenko. Facing Atlantan Ansley Cargill and Kentucky’s Julie Ditty in the doubles final, Gullickson and partner, Tetiana Luzhanska, captured the doubles championship with a 6-3, 6-4 win.

Gullickson entered the Cup as the fifth seed and quickly advanced through the tourney defeating Americans Amanda Fink and Ashley Weinhold in the earlier rounds. A 7-5, 6-4 semifinals win over Mexico’s Melissa Torres-Sandoval advanced her to the singles championship match against Mecco Cup defending champion Varvara Lepchenko. The second seeded Lepchenko put up a good fight, defeating Gullickson 6-1, 6-4.

The doubles draw brought more Southern players to the forefront with the third seed pair of Cargill and Ditty, and Gullickson pairing up with Ukranian Luzhanska. The 24-year old Cargill is a former Duke University standout and Julie Ditty, a Vanderbilt University alum, was recently named the USTA Pro Circuit Player of the Week. This was the third consecutive week of a doubles finals appearance for the Cargill/ Ditty pair. Both teams made powerful strides to reach the doubles championship with top seeded Gullickson and Luzhanska ultimately walking away with the win.

The USTA organizes, sponsors, and administers the USTA Pro Circuit - the gateway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis professionals, and a frequent battleground for established players. The 2005-2006 circuit features nearly 100 events for men and women. Prize money at the USTA Pro Circuit events ranges from $10,000 to $75,000, with more than $3 million in purses this year. Players also earn valuable ATP and WTA tour ranking points. The USTA Pro Circuit boasts an alumni of some of the biggest names in tennis, many of whom have gone on to win Grand Slam titles, including Andre Agassi, Lindsay Davenport, Chanda Rubin, Tim Henman, James Blake, and Mary Pierce.




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