2020 Mercer Tennis Classic Qualifying Underway
32 Player Qualifying Field Now Whittled to 16
MERCER UNIVERSITY and John Drew Smith Tennis Center – OCT 19 – OCT 25, 2020
USTA Pro Circuit 80K Event
MACON, Georgia, (October 19, 2020) Mercer Tennis Classic play began on Monday morning with sixteen qualifying matches spread over four courts at the John Drew Smith Tennis Center.
The Mercer Tennis Classic is the first USTA Pro Circuit event being held in the U.S. since professional tennis came to a halt in March.
Canada’s Genie Bouchard is the top-seed in qualifying and took on American, Alexa Glatch in a first round match. Bouchard, a former Wimbledon finalist and Australian and French Open semi-finalist started quickly in the mid-afternoon sun with a break and a hold. Her stellar play continued in the second set to take down Glatch.
Former Macon champ, Kayla Day, who was granted a wildcard in the qualifying wildcard found herself down throughout most of the opening set before her forehand found the range and her opponent off balance. Day continued the hot play and closed out the second set 7-5.
Another former Macon champ, Varvara Lepchenko won her opening qualifying match in straight sets.
Other Americans winning their opening qualifying matches were Asia Muhammad, Katie
Volynets and Claire Liu.
Main draw singles starts on Wednesday.
Main draw participants include:
Monica Puig won the singles Gold Medal at the 2016 Rio Games representing Puerto Rico and has been ranked as high as No. 27.
Jessica Pegula won her first WTA this year this year at the Washington Open.
American Caty McNally returns to Macon, is the frequent doubles partner of Coco Gauff and has already claimed two WTA doubles titles.
American Kristie Ahn qualified and reached the fourth round of the 2019 US Open.
Link to qualifying draw: https://live.itftennis.com/en/live-scores/draws.php?tid=W-ITF-USA-40A-2020
Link to Order of Play for Tuesday
The women’s event will feature a 32-player singles qualifying draw, a 32-player singles main draw and a 16-team doubles draw. Now in its eighth year and fourth year as an W80 event, the Mercer Tennis Classic will once again feature many of the best women tennis players in the world. It is 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 2019 event was showcased on the Tennis Channel.
The Mercer Tennis Classic has featured players with major titles, including 2014 Macon singles champ, Kateryna Bondarenko, of Ukraine, and her sister, Alona, who she teamed with to win the 2008 Australian Open Doubles title, and 2010 French Open singles champion Francesca Schiavone, of Italy, who was the tournament’s top seed in 2018.
The event will adhere to all government-mandated COVID-19 restrictions, including social-distancing, throughout the duration of the tournament.
Tournament volunteers are needed and any help is always appreciated. Call Mercer tennis coach and tournament director Eric Hayes at (478) 301-2269.