Mercer Tennis Classic: Former Champ Kayla Day Finding Form in Macon

MERCER UNIVERSITY – LEROY PEDDY TENNIS CENTER – OCT 21 – OCT 28, 2018
USTA Pro Circuit 80K Event to be on Tennis Channel – Finals on Sun. 12:30pm

MACON, Georgia, (October 25, 2018) The weather may have been a little chilly to start the day on Thursday at Mercer University for the 2018 edition of the Mercer Tennis Classic, a USTA Pro Circuit women’s 80K event running through Sunday October 28, but the play of a former singles champion warmed up the crowd of fans in attendance.

2016 Macon singles champion, Kayla Day, doesn’t just like playing in Macon, she loves it.

“I love this tournament, and love the courts here,” said Day following her 6-4, 6-4 victory on Thursday over fellow American Lauren Davis. “It’s even the people here. They make you feel so welcome and it’s just everything about the tournament.”

Day explained how the the courts at Mercer fit her game.

“It plays the speed I like and the bounce, matches my game. It (the ball) sits up well for my forehand and it even helps my serve.”

Day has slipped a little in the WTA rankings, down to No. 302. She was ranked No. 122, in June, 2017. This result in Macon will break her back into the top-300.

Former world junior No. 1, Whitney Osuigwe earned a big win on Wednesday, but she ran into a WTA Tour veteran in American Varvara Lepchenko on Thursday. After Lepchenko won a tight first set, the experience seemed to pay off as Lepchenko pulled away with the 6-4, 6-0 win.

Former USC standout, Danielle Lao of Arcadia, Cal. backed up her upset of tournament No. 1 seed Madison Brengle on Tuesday with a hard fought three-set win over Louisa Chirico to advance to the quarterfinals.

Lao played an almost error-free first set and took advantage of a slow start by Chirico. Chirico, a streaky hard-hitting player found her range in the second set. At 2-2 in the third set, Lao won a long game on a Chricio forehand error to gain the advantage. A few more errors from Chirico and two down-the-line forehand winners from Lao allowed the 26-year old Lao to close out the match. Lao is having a good late summer and fall. She qualified for her second U.S. Open singles main draw in August and two weeks ago was a finalist at the 60K USTA Pro Circuit event in Stockton, Cal.

Qualifier Hailey Baptiste now has won five matches in five days as she took down another promising young American Ann Li 6-4, 6-4.

Quarterfinals of singles and semifinals of doubles are slated for Friday.

Thursday’s Results:

Varvara LEPCHENKO (USA) def. Whitney OSUIGWE (USA) 6-4 6-0
Kayla DAY (USA) def. Lauren DAVIS (USA) 6-4 6-4
Jessica PEGULA (USA) [2] def. Giuliana OLMOS (MEX) 6-2 6-0
Hailey BAPTISTE (USA) def. Ann LI (USA) 6-4 6-4
Danielle LAO (USA) def. Louisa CHIRICO (USA) 6-2 3-6 6-2
Allie KIICK (USA) def. Sophie CHANG (USA) 6-2 6-2
Veronica CEPEDE ROYG (PAR) def. Ulrikke EIKERI (NOR) 6-1 6-0
Marie BOUZKOVA (CZE) [7] def. Sesil KARATANTCHEVA (BUL) 4-6 6-4 7-5
Anna DANILINA (KAZ) / Ingrid NEEL (USA) def. Lauren DAVIS (USA) / Christina MCHALE (USA) [4] 6-7(3) 6-4 [10-5]
Caty MCNALLY (USA) / Jessica PEGULA (USA) def. Quinn GLEASON (USA) / Luisa STEFANI (BRA) 4-6 6-3 [10-1]
Alexa GUARACHI (CHI) / Giuliana OLMOS (MEX) [1] def. Sanaz MARAND (USA) / Whitney OSUIGWE (USA) 6-4 4-6 [13-11]
Beatrice GUMULYA (INA) / Ana VESELINOVIC (MNE) def. Paula Cristina GONCALVES (BRA) / Beatriz HADDAD MAIA (BRA)

Note: Sunday’s televised singles final on Tennis Channel has been moved to a 12:30pm (eastern) start.

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