Three USTA Pro Circuit Tournaments Begin In South

April 6, 2009 05:42 PM
Georgian and defending champion Bobby Reynolds was eliminated in the first round the Price LeBlanc Lexus Pro Tennis Classic in Baton Rouge, La. this week.

Also, two well-known WTA pro players are working their way through qualifying at the River Hills USTA Women’s $25,000 Challenger in Jackson, Miss.

In Little Rock, Ark. 32 men are facing off in the St. Vincent Auxiliary Men's Professional Tennis Tournament.

In Baton Rouge, Reynolds carried his No. 64 ranking with confidence as the Acworth, Ga. pro won last year’s title. Another Southerner in the draw is Atlantan Jemere Jenkins. Other prominent pros include veteran American No. 111 Vince Spadea, Canadian No. 117 Frank Dancevic and 2005 NCAA champ Benjamin Becker. The tournament is being played at the Lamar Tennis Center at the Manship YMCA.

In the River Hills, Lindsay Lee-Waters of Dunwoody, Ga., has a first-round match with up-and-coming American Coco Vandeweghe. Last week she reached the semifinals of the Tangipahoa Tourism/Loeb Law Firm 25k Tennis Classic at the Oak Knoll Country Club in Hammond, La.

Nicolas Todero of Argentina is the top seed in the Little Rock tournament as Jesse Witten, who had been seed No. 1, dropped out because of injury. The $15,000 tournament is being played at the Pleasant Valley Country Club. 2008 Little Rock singles runner-up Matthew Roberts played four years of collegiate tennis at the University of Arkansas.

The USTA Pro Circuit is the training ground for up-and-coming pros and also a place were ATP and WTA veterans can get their game together after injury or time away from the tour. Most of the top pros have spent some time on the USTA Pro Circuit or other similar ITF tournaments around the world.