W.L. Amos, Sr. Tennis Classic in Macon Elevated to 80K Event

Tournament Elevated, Macon Players Have Grand Slam Success

MACON, Georgia, (February 8, 2017) The last four years, the Macon sports and tennis community have been treated to professional women’s tennis and everything that comes with hosting one of the most prestigious tennis events in the country. In 2017, the stakes are being raised once again. This fall, as some of the best women tennis players in the world take to the courts of Mercer University’s Leroy Peddy Tennis Center, they will be competing for $80,000 in prize money.

The 2017 W.L. Amos Sr. Tennis Classic will be a USTA Pro Circuit 80K event that brings a 32 player singles draw and 16 doubles teams to Macon along 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. It also stands to be one of the top-10 most important women’s tennis tournaments in terms of prize money and WTA ranking points in the U.S. for 2017.

“I’ve been running these USTA Pro Circuit tournaments for 15 years and I’m never going to say ‘no’ when the USTA Pro Circuit shows confidence in us (as a tennis community) to elevate our event,” explains tournament director and Mercer University men’s and women’s tennis coach, Eric Hayes.

As in the past, players come to Macon to attain valuable WTA ranking points and a spot in the first major of 2017, the Australian Open.

Former W.L. Amos Sr. Tennis Classic players have achieved success in Grand Slam events and in WTA events over the past 12 months.

Croat, Mirjana Lucic Baroni, just reached the semifinals of the 2017 Australian Open defeating top-10 players Agnieszka Radwanska and Karolina Pliskova, before falling to Serena Williams. Former Atlanta resident, Samantha Crawford reached the second round of Wimbledon in 2016 and the semifinals of the WTA Premier event in Brisbane to start the year.

Boca Raton’s Jennifer Brady qualified and reached the round of 16 at the 2017 Australian Open and now ranked in world’s top-80.

Taylor 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.

In addition Americans Madison Brengle and Nicole Gibbs have spent time ranked in the WTA top-100 for much of 2016 and into 2017.

“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, adds Hayes.

The reach of this tournament extends from Macon, across the country and around to the world to places like Australia.

“The USTA Pro Circuit is thrilled that the W. L. Amos, Sr. Tennis Classic has agreed to raise its prize money from $50,000 to $80,000 in 2017,” said Brian Early, Director of the USTA Pro Circuit and U.S. Open Referee. “This tournament is part of an important three-week, year-end series that provides opportunities for players to earn WTA ranking points for entry into the following year’s Australian Open. The added prize money will increase the number of points available and the player field is likely to be even stronger than in the past.”

Highlights of the week each year 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.

To lend your support to professional tennis, call Mercer tennis coach and tournament director Eric Hayes at (478) 301-2269.

About the Leroy Peddy Tennis Center

The LeRoy Peddy Tennis Center is the home for Mercer University men’s and women’s tennis. The facility is located just inside the South campus entrance, nestled among its pine tree lined western perimeter and adjacent to MU’s softball stadium and practice fields. The Center features a total of eight courts, aligned in a picturesque bi-level configuration (four courts each on the upper and lower tiers). The lighted venue also has ample parking and seating for fans on either level and a park-like walkway for access between the two sections.

About the USTA Pro Circuit

With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $15,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA Pro Circuit provides players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. John Isner, Maria Sharapova, Sam Querrey, Sloane Stephens, Mardy Fish, Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.

The W.L. Amos Sr. Foundation

The W.L. Amos Sr. Foundation is the title sponsor of the tournament

Middle Georgia Tennis Foundation

The mission of the Middle Georgia Tennis Foundation is to raise funds to support tennis programs, especially youth programs in Middle Georgia.

For more information or to talk with Eric:
On-site PR contact: Rick Limpert (209) 920-7425 or email: Rick.Limpert@gmail.com
Website: www.ustamaconclassic.com
Twitter: @USTAMacon50K
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WL-Amos-Sr-Tennis-Classic

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