Kayla Day Win 3-Hour Marathon, Faces Min Next
Defending Champ Peterson, Min and Collins Reach Semifinals at Mercer
MERCER UNIVERSITY – LEROY PEDDY TENNIS CENTER – OCT 23 – OCT 30, 2016
MACON, Georgia, (October 28, 2016) What a difference a year makes. Beset by rain and windy weather, the 2015 W.L. Amos Sr. Tennis Class was playing catch up on Friday. Quarterfinals Friday at the 2016 installment featured glorious sunny weather, perfect for world class tennis at Mercer University’s Leroy Peddy Tennis Center. Five young Americans were in action on Friday, all looking to make the semifinals.
17-year old Kayla Day may have cruised past No. 1 seed Samantha Crawford on Thursday with relative ease, but she was in for a tougher match with an experienced Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria. Tough, even though Day sped out to a 6-0 4-0 lead, the Bulgarian who has spent time ranked in the top 40 in the world, wouldn’t give up. Karatantcheva changed tactics and kept the ball soft and down the middle taking the angles away from the Santa Barbara resident. Day had to adjust on the fly to reach a third set tiebreaker where she resumed her aggressive game, to win in 7-4.
Karatantcheva had only herself to blame for the loss as the 14 doubles faults she totaled as well as a multitude of unforced forehand errors contributed to her falling behind early, but it was great fight from the Bulgarian.
“I started off really well and then towards the end of the second set she started hitting the ball higher and I started hitting them long,” said Day following the match. “I was able to keep fighting and won.”
Day said she really like the courts and the weather Macon has been having this week.
“I really like the courts and the conditions have been perfect for my game.”
Day, currently ranked No. 286, now faces another tough competitor in Grace Min on Saturday.
Former Macon semifinalist, Min, who plays out of the Atlanta area, had no problem with former University of North Carolina player, Jamie Loeb, winning in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
They are joined in the semis by defending champion, Rebecca Peterson of Sweden. Peterson had all she could handle with rising French player, Alize Lim. Lim plays a steady backcourt game, but Peterson appears ultra-comfortable on the courts at Mercer and used her serve to her advantage to take out Lim in three sets.
Two-time NCAA singles champ, Danielle Rose Collins hold off a charge from Francesca Di Lorenzo 6-1, 7-5.
The doubles semifinals were also played on Friday and the teams of Sabrina Santamaria/Keri Wong and the No. 1 seeds Michaella Krajicek and Taylor Townsend.
Saturday’s matches start at 11am with Peterson vs. Collins, followed by Day vs. Min.
Now in its fourth year, the W.L. Amos Sr. Tennis Classic, a USTA Pro Circuit 50K event, brings a 32 player singles draw and 16 doubles teams to Macon with a 32 player qualifying draw the first weekend. It’s eight days of professional tennis and the longest running professional women’s tennis tournament in the state of Georgia.
As in the past, players come to Macon to play for $50,000 in prize money, valuable WTA ranking points and a spot in the first major of 2017, the Australian Open.
20 former “Classic” players were in the main draw at the U.S. Open in New York, last month.
Grace MIN (USA)  d Jamie LOEB (USA) 6-2 6-3
Kayla DAY (USA) d Sesil KARATANTCHEVA (BUL) 6-0 6-7(5) 7-6(4)
Rebecca PETERSON (SWE)  d Alize LIM (FRA) 6-3 3-6 6-4
Danielle Rose COLLINS (USA) d Francesca DI LORENZO (USA) 6-1 7-5
Sabrina SANTAMARIA (USA) / Keri WONG (USA) d Samantha CRAWFORD (USA) / Melanie OUDIN (USA) 6-7(4) 6-4 [10-6]
Michaella KRAJICEK (NED) / Taylor TOWNSEND (USA)  d Kristie AHN (USA) / Jamie LOEB (USA) 6-4 6-2