Entry List Released for W.L. Amos, Sr. Tennis Classic in Macon

Eight Players in the Top-130 and Defending Champion Peterson Returns

MACON, Georgia, (October 10, 2016) A stellar field, and the deepest in the history since professional women’s tennis returned to Macon, will take to the courts of Mercer University’s Leroy Peddy Tennis Center, come the morning of October 23.

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 world class tennis and the longest running professional women’s tennis tournament in the state of Georgia.

“There are some of the best players in the world and many of them will be playing the late rounds of the majors in the years to come,” says tournament director, Eric Hayes, also the Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach at Mercer University. “I’ve been running these USTA Pro Circuit tournaments for 14 years, and I’ve never seen an entry list this loaded.”

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.

Leading the entry list, which was released this week is a top-100 player in Irina Khromacheva of Russia. Khromacheva,a native of Moscow is a 21 year old lefty who has won four professional singles titles so far in 2016. The Russian is currently ranked No. 96 in the world.

Young American players make up the bulk of the next wave of entries. Former Atlanta resident, Samantha Crawford leads the red, white and blue charge. The hard-serving 21-year old currently ranked No. 106 reached the second round of Wimbledon this year and the semifinals of the WTA Premier event in Brisbane to start the year.

Cici Bellis, 17, of California just turned professional last month after reaching the third round of the U.S. Open and the quarters in Quebec City.
Jennifer Brady, Julia Boserup, Grace Min and Taylor Townsend are the next top American entries. Townsend, 20, lives in Atlanta and qualified for the 2016 U.S. Open and nearly upset Caroline Wozniacki in the first round. She also advanced to the women’s doubles quarterfinals in New York.

Former U.S. Open quarterfinalist, Melanie Oudin, of Marietta, Ga. is also entered as is Macon defending singles champion, Rebecca Peterson of Sweden and Elise Mertens of Belgium. Mertens advanced to the second round of this year’s U.S. Open and lost to Garbine Muguruza of Spain. Paula Cristina Goncalves of Brazil, who played in this summer’s Rio Olympic Games is also entered.

Past players include many current top-100 players including: Madison Brengle, Shelby Rodgers, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Nicole Gibbs, Louisa Chirico and 2015 champ Kateryna Bondarenko. It’s also an event where many top junior players get their start on the professional stage.

“We are so thankful to all the sponsors for making this tournament a reality each year as it demonstrates the popularity and support Macon and the surrounding areas have for tennis,” said tournament director, Eric Hayes, also the Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach at Mercer University.

Many players that have played in Macon have spent time in the top-100 in the world and 20 former “Classic” players were in the main draw at the U.S. Open in New York, last month. Highlights of the week include the Pro Am and Player/Sponsor party, and the annual “Macon A Racket” event with free lessons, food and more. Also the players will make visits to local schools to promote tennis as a lifetime sport and the professional event. Play will begin each morning and continue until the slate of matches in singles and doubles is finished for the day.

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