MERCER UNIVERSITY – LEROY PEDDY TENNIS CENTER – OCT 22 – OCT 29, 2017
Christian/Santamaria Takes Doubles Title
MACON, Georgia, (October 29, 2017) Blessed with almost perfect weather all week, finalists in the singles and doubles in the W.L. Amos Sr. Tennis Classic, had to deal with wind and unseasonably cold temperatures on Sunday at Mercer University’s Leroy Peddy Tennis Center.
Sunday’s finals featured a couple new players in Macon in American, Victoria Duval and Slovakia’s Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova. Both players appeared to take extra warm up time on Sunday to get used to the conditions.
Duval raced out to a quick 4-0 lead playing in the wind while Schmiedlova trying to find her form in the wind. Schmiedlova’s early strategy was to stay back at the baseline, but she quickly discovered she would have to use all the court to win on this day. She adjusted and won the next 10 games in a row, while taking the first set and getting a lead in the second.
“I don’t know how this happened today,” said an excited Schmiedlova after the match. I had to play the conditions and it was really tough with the wind and the cold at the beginning. I tried to get more balls in the court and not play so aggressive. The second set I was real happy with the way I played.”
Schmiedlova kept Duval at bay, even late in the second when Duval changed tactics and tried to work Schmiedlova’s backhand. It was too late. The Slovak found her range and closed out the last two games on errors from the American.
“I’m just happy to win any match I can,” added Schmiedlova.
Duval has only dropped on set in the tournament enroute to the finals.
“It was tough,” explained Duval. “All week the courts and conditions favored me, but today it was so different.”
In the doubles final, the former USC tandem of Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria fought off the wind as well as their opponents, Former North Carolina player, Sanaz Marand and Paula Cristina Goncalves of Brazil.
The former NCAA doubles champs, Christian and Santamaria jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead and then only dropped one game in claiming their first title as a duo. Christian/Santamaria played a relatively clean match in the tough conditions, winning almost 70% of the points on serve and converting five of nine break opportunities.
“It was tough with the conditions,” said Santamaria after the match. “Thanks to all the fans that came out to watch and everyone involved with putting this tournament on. It’s one of the best!”
Finals started at noon on Sunday.
Now in its fifth year, the W.L. Amos Sr. Tennis Classic, has moved up to a USTA Pro Circuit 80K event, with 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 now the second biggest professional tournament in the state of Georgia in terms of prize money (ATP World Tour 250 event – BB&T Atlanta Open in July is largest) and the longest running professional women’s tennis tournament in the state of Georgia.
Players come to Macon to play for $80,000 in prize money, valuable WTA ranking points and a spot in the first major of 2018, the Australian Open in Melbourne.
22 former Macon participants were in the main draw at the U.S. Open in New York, last month. There are 16 different countries represented in the main draw of singles and doubles.
On Monday, five players took to the streets of Downtown Macon for the first “Tennis in the Streets” event. Local businesses came out to hit with the players and media outlets enjoyed interviewing the professionals.
Tuesday night was also the annual Pro/Am hosted by Mercer University. Featuring spirited play with the professionals and dinner.
Singles winner: Anna Karolina Schmiedlova
Doubles winners: Kaitlyn Christian / Sabrina Santamaria
Volunteers are needed and any help is always appreciated. 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 $10,000 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 launched its Pro Circuit in 1979 to provide 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. Victoria Azarenka, Eugenie Bouchard, John Isner, Madison Keys, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Sam Querrey and Caroline Wozniacki 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.