Five Top 100 Players Set to Play Macon

October 6, 2014 09:37 AM
Melanie Oudin and Jack Sock raise the 2011 US Open mixed doubles trophy.
Grace Min at the Rock Hill Rocks Open.

MACON, Ga. -- Tennis fans in Georgia are in for a treat as five players in the top-100 of the WTA rankings and 17 of the top-150 are on the entry list for the 2014 Tennis Classic of Macon. If you haven’t heard, the stakes will be higher in 2014 with more prize money, ranking points and the pressure of playing for a berth in the 2015 Australian Open hanging in the balance.

A new presenting sponsor in The W.L. Amos Sr. Foundation means the tournament moves up to a 50K event and will take place October 19-26 on the USTA Pro Circuit calendar at Stratford Academy's Jaime Kaplan Tennis Center. This is one of the three fall events where U.S. players can earn points for the USTA’s wildcard into the first major of 2015.

Tournament director and Mercer University Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Eric Hayes said a entry list like this is unheard of for a USTA Pro Circuit event.

"This is unreal," said Hayes. "This is the strongest 50K fall event that I can remember. It’s a testament to our facility, our volunteers and the Macon tennis community that put a lot of hard work into making our 2013 event so memorable.”

Headlining this year’s Macon 50K field is veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who defeated Venus Williams to win the WTA event in Quebec City, last month. Americans, Nicole Gibbs, Madison Brengle and defending champ Anna Tatishvilli are also scheduled to return to Middle Georgia.

Top players appearing on initial entry list include:

#59 – Mirjana Lucic-Baroni - Just won WTA event in Quebec City

#76 - Alison Van Uytvanck - Belgian player with wins over Hantuchova and Mladenovic in 2014

#89 – Nicole Gibbs - Two-time NCAA champ that just achieved a career high ranking

#98 – Madison Brengle - Semifinalist in Macon in 2013 and just won event in Las Vegas

#99 – Anna Tatishvilli - 2013 Tennis Classic of Macon champion

#103 -  Patricia Mayr-Achleitner - Austrian who won Winnipeg event in August

#109 - Edina Gallovits-Hall - Former top-100 player using protected ranking

#111 – Grace Min - Fast-rising American player, originally from Lawrenceville, GA

#114 – Olivia Rogowanska - Australian that has won 10 ITF singles titles

#120 - Jovana Jaksic - Serbian player, defeated Kimiko Date-Krumm in 2014

#122 – Irina Falconi - Former Georgia Tech star

#124 – Michelle Larcher DeBrito - Defeated Maria Sharapova at 2013 Wimbledon

#132 - Veronica Cepede-Royg - fast rising young player from Paraguay

#137 – Melanie Oudin - From Marietta, GA. Former U.S. Open quarterfinalist

#139 - Cagla Buyukakcay - Won 2014 event in Edgbaston

#145 – Allie Kick - Fast rising American, daughter of NFL great Jim Kiick

#149 – Romina Oprandi - Italian player that been ranked as high as No. 32 in world

Other players of note:

Andrea Hlavackova – 2013 U.S. Open and 2011 French Open doubles champion and 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist.

Nicole Vaidisova – Former No. 7 player in the world attempting a comeback from a series of injuries.

Even Brian Earley, Director of the USTA Pro Circuit is impressed with what could be Macon’s field.

“The USTA Tennis Classic of Macon will feature one of the strongest fields on the USTA Pro Circuit, with at least four women in the top 100 players on the WTA computer.   Due in equal parts to its timing (after the WTA season has concluded), geography and the fact that the Americans are playing for a possible spot in the main draw of the Australian Open, we love that the winner in Macon will have earned the title over some of the best players in the world.”

Players will compete in singles and doubles and a 32-woman qualifying event will start on Sunday, October 19,

Hayes says once again the tournament will host a pro am where local tennis players can play against the pros. A “players party” will also be held this year at Twangs, a local restaurant.

Live streaming of the USTA Pro Circuit can be viewed on the USTA Pro Circuit’s website at www.procircuit.usta.com.  

Tickets are available, and volunteers will be needed once again. Call Mercer tennis coach and tournament director Eric Hayes at (478) 301-2269.

 

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