USTA Pro Circuit 80K Event to be on Tennis Channel

MACON, Georgia, (August 22, 2018) In a move to garner more attention to the university that hosts this annual fall event, tournament director, Eric Hayes has announced a name change and international coverage of the singles semifinals and finals for the 80K USTA Pro Circuit event in Macon, as the W.L. Amos Sr. Tennis Classic will now be called the Mercer Tennis Classic.

The women’s event will have a 32-person singles qualifying draw, 32 person singles main draw and a 16 team doubles draw featuring players ranked in the top-100 in the world.

“From day one, this tournament has been a group effort and about reaching the community. This is a transition that the Amos/Copelan Family supports; allowing the name change as the event expands each year. It couldn’t grow without efforts from everyone in the Macon tennis community, volunteers, Mercer University and everyone else involved over the past five years,” said Hayes. “This event’s home is Mercer University and the name change reflects how far we all have come in terms of tennis and giving back.”

Hayes also said that the Tennis Channel will cover the singles semifinals and finals live on its platforms at times TBD.

“It’s a testament to how much our event has grown and the quality of field we get each year that the Tennis Channel would want to come to Macon and show live coverage. This is unprecedented coverage and exposure for not only Mercer, but for the city of Macon and Middle Georgia.”

Now in its sixth year and second year as an 80K event, the Mercer Tennis Classic will once again showcase a 32 player singles draw and 16 doubles teams in Macon. It’s eight days of fan friendly 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). It is also the longest running professional women’s tennis tournament in the state of Georgia.

The Mercer Tennis Classic has featured players with major titles. 2014 Macon singles champ, Kateryna Bondarenko, of Ukraine, and her sister, Alona, teamed with to win the 2008 Australian Open Doubles title. The Bondarenko Sisters have played doubles in Macon. In 2017, 2010 French Open singles champion, Francesca Schiavone of Italy was the top seed and advanced to the second round.

Players come to Macon to play for $80,000 in prize money, valuable WTA ranking points and in the past, a spot in the first major of 2018, the Australian Open in Melbourne.

This year, a minimum of 20 former Macon participants were in the main draw at the first three majors

Highlights of the week include the Pro Am and Player/Sponsor party, and an annual event with free lessons, food and more. Also the players will make visits to area schools to promote tennis as a lifetime sport and the professional event. In 2017, a special “Tennis in the Streets” event was held in Downtown Macon. Play will begin each morning and continue until the slate of matches in singles and doubles is finished for the day.

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). With a digital scoreboard featuring real-time scoring of matches, 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.

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.

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