Qualifying Finals Set for Monday, Main Draw Released
Taylor Townsend and Grace Min in Action on Tuesday
MERCER UNIVERSITY – LEROY PEDDY TENNIS CENTER – OCT 23 – OCT 30, 2016
MACON, Georgia, (October 24, 2016) Second round singles qualifying was completed at Mercer University’s Leroy Peddy Tennis Center, players trying to earn spots in the singles main draw of the W.L.Amos Sr. Tennis Classic.
The featured match of the morning pitted two former college standout Americans in Sanaz Marand, who played collegiately at North Carolina and Emina Betkas, the winningest player in the history of the University of Michigan.
Marand raced off to a fast start by consolidating a break and taking the first set 6-4. Betkas’ serve made the difference in the second as she connected on 60% of her first serves and even served and volleyed her way to 6-2 set, to force a decider. Marand’s frustrations kept mounting in the third set as Betkas was successful on approach shots and moving forward to put away volleys. Betkas took the third set 6-3, to advance to Monday play.
Qualifying No. 1 seed, Aloyna Sotnikova of Ukraine defeated American Jessica Ho, 6-1, 6-0.
The main draw matches begin at 11:30 am on Tuesday with No. 4 seed, Grace Min and No. 5 seed, Taylor Townsend both in action. Both Min and Townsend have ties to the Atlanta area. Doubles action will begin on Tuesday around 1:30.
“It’s the deepest tournament I’ve ever had,” commented Eric Hayes, tournament director and Head Coach of the Mercer University tennis teams. “We have four players in the top-130 in the world.”
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.
The “Kid’s Clinic” took place Sunday afternoon at adjacent Tatnall Tennis Center and over 150 young tennis players took part in tennis drills and learned the basics of tennis with local teaching pros, members of the Mercer University Tennis Teams and professional players.
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.
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. Play will begin each morning and continue until the slate of matches in singles and doubles is finished for the day.
Tuesday’s matches begin at 10 am with final round qualifying matches.
Emina BEKTAS (USA) d. Sanaz MARAND (USA)  4-6 6-2 6-3
Ronit YUROVSKY (USA) d. Ellie DOUGLAS (USA) 6-2 6-1
Pia KONIG (AUT)  d. Nika KUKHARCHUK (RUS) 3-6 6-2 6-4
Yuliya BEYGELZIMER (UKR) d.  Michaela GORDON (USA) 6-1 6-4
Alyona SOTNIKOVA (UKR) d.  Jessica HO (USA) 6-1 6-0
Alexandra MUELLER (USA) d. Ema BURGIC BUCKO (BIH)  6-2 6-4
Danielle Rose COLLINS (USA) d.  Catherine HARRISON (USA) 3-6 6-4 7-6(3)
Ingrid NEEL (USA) d. Quinn GLEASON (USA) 6-1 6-1