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Women's Pro Circuit Event in Macon

July 9, 2013 05:02 PM
Some of the best women tennis players in the world will be in Macon for the the USTA Tennis Classic of Macon, taking place October 6-13, 2013. The event will be held at Stratford Academy's Jaime Kaplan Tennis Center.
"It's going to be exciting tennis," said tournament director Eric Hayes. Hayes is also the new head tennis coach of the men's and women's teams at Mercer University.
Macon hosted a 10K Pro Circuit Futures event in the 1990s, but this 25K event will draw a mix of rising and established players looking to earn points to finish the year strongly, and in some cases, earn direct acceptance into the 2014 Australian Open.
"I'm so excited that professional tennis is returning to Macon," says former professional and Stratford Academy's Jaime Kaplan. "My pro career started by playing in events such as this, and I'm thrilled to be welcoming players from all over the world to Stratford Academy and Macon, Georgia."
The players that will be participating will be released in September along with wildcards and possible participants in the qualifying tournament.
As recently as two years ago, players like Americans like Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Jamie Hampton, Melanie Oudin and Varvara Lepchencko competed in events at this level. Lepchenko reached the top-20 in 2012 after having success at 25K USTA Pro Circuit events in 2011. Also, many top international players have established themselves playing USTA Pro Circuit events.
The USTA knows that events like the one coming to Macon teach players how to be professionals.
"Every player (in the professional ranks) under the age of 30 has played in these events," offers up Brian Earley, Director of the USTA Pro Circuit and U.S. Open referee.
Hayes is looking for the whole city to embrace the return of professional tennis to Macon.
"We are fortunate to have the support of the university, the city and the tennis community," adds Hayes.
The tournament is also a great tool for the children of the community. It introduces many of them to a sport they have never played, and it also renews a spirit in all of them that they can achieve anything that they put their heart, soul and mind toward.
The tournament offers $25,000 in prize money to the singles and doubles players and a 64-player qualifying tournament will take place during the opening weekend of the tournament.
Wildcards will be given out leading up the start of the main and qualifying draws and they will join those that survive the qualifying tournament in the main draw, with 20 the players that gained direct entry.
Tennis fans in Macon will see a lot of action come the second week in October. Quite a few of these players have the potential to be the next stars in women's tennis, and tennis fans will be able to witness all the action.



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