Mercer Tennis Classic
Rogers, Stewart Reach Mercer Tennis Classic Finals
MERCER UNIVERSITY – LEROY PEDDY TENNIS CENTER – OCT 21 – OCT 27, 2019
USTA Pro Circuit 80K Event
**Dolehide/Arconada take Doubles Title
MACON, Georgia, (October 26, 2019) A doubles final followed by two singles semis on Saturday at the 2019 Mercer Tennis Classic.
South Carolina native, Shelby Rogers has been the most dominant player all week in Macon, but would that continue on Saturday as she faced a red hot Grace Min? Min has been making big strides the past couple weeks on the USTA Pro Circuit.
Rogers raced out to a quick lead with an early break, but Min fought hard to stay in the set. Rogers, focused on holding her serve, liked the 1-2 punch of serve and forehand throughout most of the opening set to close it out 6-4.
Rogers again raced out to lead in the second set. Min tried to hold her off, winning a game at 5-1 and pushing the hard-hitting Rogers at 5-2, but Rogers and her power were too much for Min this week.
“It’s kind of exciting to be here and doing so well in the South,” explained Rogers. The little bit slower courts, the hospitality has been great.”
Rogers advances to now face wildcard entrant, Katerina Stewart, who defeated Danielle Lao 6-3, 6-0.
Stewart and Lao were neck and neck through the first six games of the match, but after Lao was forced to take a medical time out, she didn’t win another game. Stewart played a pretty flawless match, keeping Lao behind the baseline and mixing up her serves. She had a 74% first serve percentage and didn’t drop a game on serve.
Rogers and Stewart have never faced each other as professionals.
In a hotly contested doubles final that went the distance, the American duo of Usue Maitane Arconada and Caroline Dolehide outlasted Jaimee Fourlis of Australia and Valentini Grammatikopoulou of Greece. The final score of 5-7, 6-2 (10-8) showed just how close this match was from the start.
The Americans used their aggressive net play to take the second set and hold off the international pair in the match tiebreaker.
Singles Final set for Sunday at noon!
Usue Maitane Arconada (USA)  / Caroline Dolehide def. Jaimee Fourlis (AUS) / Valentini Grammatikopoulou (GRE) 6-7(2) 6-2 [10-8]
Katerina Stewart (USA) def. Danielle Lao (USA) 6-3 6-0
Shelby Rogers (USA) def. Grace Min (USA) 6-4 6-2
On Wednesday, the Mercer Tennis Classic hosted a Net Generation Kid’s Day attended by up to 100 junior tennis players.
Mark your calendars for a week of events.
Sunday October 27 – Singles Final
For 2019, the Tennis Channel will once again be in Macon. This year they will cover the first rounds on its online platform, and the semifinals and finals will be live on Tennis Channel
“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 seventh year and third year as an 80K event, the Mercer Tennis Classic will once again feature a weeklong 32 player singles draw and 16 doubles teams in Macon. It’s seven 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 the 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 champ, Francesca Schiavone of Italy was the top seed.
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 2020, the Australian Open in Melbourne. A women’s wild card will be awarded to the American with the highest cumulative total of WTA singles ranking points earned from upcoming events. Only Americans who do not earn direct entry into the Australian Open are eligible. In the event of a tie, the player with the best WTA singles ranking, will be awarded the wildcard.
Highlights of the week include the Tuesday 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, along with surprises during the week!
Tournament volunteers are needed and any help is always appreciated. Call Mercer tennis coach and tournament director Eric Hayes at (478) 301-2269.